The most distal 300 kb of human chromosome 21q was cloned and mapped using telomeric yeast artificial chromosomes (YACs). The region contains low-copy subtelomeric repeats at the telomeric end, chromosome 21-specific sequences more centromerically, and the S100B gene at a distance of 100-140 kb from the chromosome terminus. RecA-assisted restriction endonuclease cleavage of genomic DNA showed that the cloned fragments correspond to telomere-terminal genomic DNA, and restriction enzyme mapping of the YACs shows that the smaller clone (175 kb) corresponds exactly to the telomeric end of the larger one (300 kb). PCR assays for 21q-specific markers were used to show that COL6A1, COL6A2, and LA161 were all outside of the subtelomeric region spanned by the YACs and thus at least 300 kb from the 21q terminus. The molecular probes provide telomeric closure for existing 21q maps. © 1995.
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