During evolution, chromosomes are rearranged and become fixed into new patterns in new species. The relatively conservative nature of this process supports predictions of the arrangement of ancestral mammalian chromosomes, but the basis for these rearrangements is unknown. Physical mapping of mouse chromosome 10 (MMU 10) previously identified a 380-kb region containing the junction of material represented in human on chromosomes 21 (HSA 21) and 22 (HSA 22) that occurred in the evolutionary lineage of the mouse. Here, acquisition of 275 kb of mouse genomic sequence from this region and comparative sequence analysis with HSA 21 and HSA 22 narrowed the junction from 380 kb to 18 kb. The minimal junction region on MMU 10 contains a variety of repeats, including an L32-like ribosomal element and low-copy sequences found on several mouse chromosomes and represented in the mouse EST database. Sequence level analysis of an interchromosomal rearrangement during evolution has not been reported previously.
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