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Random acrocentric bivalent associations in human pachytene spermatocytes molecular implications in the occurrence of robertsonian translocation

, : Random acrocentric bivalent associations in human pachytene spermatocytes molecular implications in the occurrence of robertsonian translocation. Cytogenetics & Cell Genetics 42(4): 191-197

Acrocentric bivalent associations were studied in 232 human male germ cells at pachytene in order to understand better the preferential involvement of chromosomes 13, 14, and 21 in Robertsonian translocations. The tendency of each acrocentric bivalent to associate with another was not correlated with NOR activity, as measured by silver staining. Good agreement was noticed between their ability to associate and the amount of satellite DNA in human acrocentric chromosomes. The distribution of two-by-two acrocentric bivalent associations was random. In order to reconcile this result with the nonrandom distribution of Robertsonian translocations, a molecular hypothesis is proposed. The model is based on homology of recombinational sites, interspersed at regular interval in satellite DNA, which could increase the probability of accidental unequal crossing-over between two specific acrocentric chromosomes.

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