5-Methylcytosine in heterochromatic regions of chromosomes: chimpanzee and gorilla compared to the human

W. Schnedl, V. G. Dev, R. Tantravahi, D. A. Miller, B. F. Erlanger, O. J. Miller

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58 Scopus citations


Fixed metaphase chromosomes of gorilla and chimpanzee were UV-irradiated to produce regions of single-stranded DNA and then treated with antibodies specific for the minor DNA base 5-methylcytosme (5 MeC). An indirect immunofluorescence technique was used to visualize sites of antibody binding. In the gorilla six pairs of autosomes contained major fluorescent regions, indicating localized regions of highly methylated DNA. These corresponded, with the exception of chromosome 19, to the major regions of constitutive heterochromatin as seen by C-banding. The Y chromosome also contained a highly fluorescent region which was located just proximal to the intense Q-band region. In the chimpanzee no comparable concentrations of highly methylated DNA were seen. Smaller regions of intense 5 MeC binding were present on perhaps six chimpanzee chromosomes, including the Y. Five of these corresponded to chromosomes which were highly methylated in the gorilla. - There is diversity among the human, gorilla and chimpanzee in both the size and location of concentrations of 5 MeC, supporting the idea that satellite DNA evolves more rapidly than DNA in the remainder of the chromosome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1975
Externally publishedYes


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