A total of 36 clones were randomly selected from a recombinant DNA library of small polydisperse circular DNA (spcDNA) molecules from HeLa cells and were shown to contain repetitive sequences of different reiteration frequencies that ranged from several hundred to several hundred thousand per genome. Sequencing of representative clones revealed tandem repeats of alphoid (α) satellite DNA, clustered repeats of the Alu family, KpnI family sequences, tandem repeats of an alpha satellite DNA specific to the X chromosome (αX), and A+T-rich segments carrying short stretches of poly(A) or poly(T). DNA rearrangement was frequently found in the repetitive sequences enriched in these spcDNA clones. Short regions of homology that were patchy and inverted were often found, especially at the novel joint where spcDNA sequences are circularized. The presence of these inverted repeats suggests that HeLa spcDNAs are formed by a mechanism that involves looping out of the spcDNA region and joining of the flanking DNA by illegitimate recombination. © 1987.
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