Dynamic structure of the SPANX gene cluster mapped to the prostate cancer susceptibility locus HPCX at Xq27

Natalay Kouprina, Adam Pavlicek, Vladimir N. Noskov, Greg Solomon, John Otstot, William Isaacs, John D. Carpten, Jeffrey M. Trent, Joanna Schleutker, J. Carl Barrett, Jerzy Jurka, Vladimir Larionov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genetic linkage studies indicate that germline variations in a gene or genes on chromosome Xq27-28 are implicated in prostate carcinogenesis. The linkage peak of prostate cancer overlies a region of ∼750 kb containing five SPANX genes (SPANX-A1, -A2, -B, -C, and -D) encoding sperm proteins associated with the nucleus; their expression was also detected in a variety of cancers. SPANX genes are >95% identical and reside within large segmental duplications (SDs) with a high level of similarity, which confounds mutational analysis of this gene family by routine PCR methods. In this work, we applied transformation-associated recombination cloning (TAR) in yeast to characterize individual SPANX genes from prostate cancer patients showing linkage to Xq27-28 and unaffected controls. Analysis of genomic TAR clones revealed a dynamic nature of the replicated region of linkage. Both frequent gene deletion/duplication and homology-based sequence transfer events were identified within the region and were presumably caused by recombinational interactions between SDs harboring the SPANX genes. These interactions contribute to diversity of the SPANX coding regions in humans. We speculate that the predisposition to prostate cancer in X-linked families is an example of a genomic disease caused by a specific architecture of the SPANX gene cluster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1477-1486
Number of pages10
JournalGenome research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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