A long-range repeat family of more than 50 kb repeat size is clustered in Chromosomes (Chr) 1 of Mus musculus and M. spretus. In M. musculus this long-range repeat family shows considerable variation of copy-number frequency and contains coding regions for at least two genes. In an intron of a gene, which is part of the repeat, a B2 small interspersed repetitive element (SINE) is inserted at identical positions. The B2 element is present in all copies of the long-range repeat family; it was presumably a component of the ancestral single-copy precursor sequence that gave rise by amplification to the repeat family. Copies of the long-range repeat family vary with respect to the number of TAAA tandem repeats in the A-rich 3′ end region of the B2 element. As inferred from polymerase chain reaction (PCR) data, presence and frequency of repeat number variants in the (TAAA)n block are strain and species specific. The B2 element and its flanking regions were sequenced from two copies of the long-range repeat family. Sequence divergence between the two copies (only non-CG base substitutions and deletions/insertions) was determined to be 2.6%. Based on the drift rate in human Alu elements and a correction for the higher drift rates in rodents, and estimate for the divergence time of 1.7 million years was calculated. Since the long-range repeat family is present in M. musculus and M. spretus, it must have evolved by amplification before the separation of the two species about 1-4 million years ago.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)