The organization of repetitive sequences in a cluster of rabbit β-like globin genes

Che Kun James Shen, Tom Maniatis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


Several complementary procedures were used to identify and characterize DNA sequences which are repeated within a 44 kilobase (kb) segment of rabbit chromosomal DNA containing four different rabbit β-like globin genes (β1-β4). Cross-hybridization between cloned DNAs from different regions of the gene cluster indicates the presence of a complex array of repeat sequences interspersed with the globin genes. We classified 20 different repeat sequences into five families whose members cross-hybridize. Electron microscopy was used to determine the location, size and relative orientations of many of the repeat sequences. Both direct and inverted repeats were identified, with sizes ranging from 140 to 1400 base pairs (bp). Each of the four closely linked globin genes is flanked by at least one pair of inverted repeats of 140-400 bp, and the entire set of four genes is flanked by an inverted repeat of 1400 bp. Two of the five repeat families contain repeat sequences of different sizes. We found that the smaller sequence elements can occur individually or in association with the larger repeat sequences, suggesting that the larger repeats may be composed of more than one smaller repeat sequence. The restriction fragments containing the intracluster repeats also contain sequences which are repeated many times in total rabbit genomic DNA, but it is not known whether the genomic and intracluster repeats are the same sequences. The results provide the first demonstration of the relationship between single-copy and repetitive DNA sequences in a large segment of chromosomal DNA containing a well characterized set of developmentally regulated genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-391
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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