Journal Article

Analysis of CAG Repeat of the Machado-Joseph Gene in Human, Chimpanzee and Monkey Populations: A Variant Nucleotide is Associated with the Number of CAG Repeats

Pornprot Limprasert, Nassim Nouri, Rock A. Heyman, Chamnong Nopparatana, Mahatana Kamonsilp, Prescott L. Deininger and Bronya J. B. Keats

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 5, issue 2, pages 207-213
Published in print February 1996 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online February 1996 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/5.2.207
Analysis of CAG Repeat of the Machado-Joseph Gene in Human, Chimpanzee and Monkey Populations: A Variant Nucleotide is Associated with the Number of CAG Repeats

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Machado-Joseph disease (MJD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder associated with an unstable and expanded CAG repeat. We analyzed this locus from various sources including MJD families, Acadian, African American, Caucasian, Greenland Inuit and Thai populations. The range of the CAG repeat size was 14–40 in the normal alleles while the MJD alleles contained 73–78 repeats in our studies. We found 25 different alleles on normal chromosomes with a heterozygosity of 0.86 in combined populations. The most common alleles were 23 (22.9%) and 14 (25.5%) repeats. We also examined 16 chimpanzees and various Old World monkeys: a pigtail macaque, a mangabey and 12 rhesus macaques. The DNA sequences surrounding the CAG repeat did not vary among species. The range of the number of the CAG repeats is 13–14 in macaques, 16 in mangabey and 14–20 in chimpanzees. Variant CAA or AAG triplets in the CAG repeat tracts were found in all 268 human, 28 monkey and 32 chimpanzee chromosomes. As reported in a previous study [Kawaguchi et al. (1994) Nature Genet. 8, 221–228] the common variant positions were the third (CAA), fourth (AAG) and sixth (CAA) positions. However, we found three human chromosomes containing CAG at the sixth position and the mangabey had AAG at the ninth position. In addition, we found CAG at the fourth position and AAG at the sixth position in all macaque chromosomes. The nu-cleotide following the CAG repeat tract was usually G in all species studied. However, we sometimes found C at this position in human and chimpanzee chromosomes. Interestingly, this variant C was found in all expanded chromosomes and in 54.5% of chromosomes with 27–40 CAG repeats but it was not found in any chromosomes with less than 20 CAG repeats. We hypothesize that the variant C may be associated with CAG repeat instability.

Journal Article.  4450 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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