Two polymorphic loci within the interferon-α receptor (IFNAR) gene on human chromosome 21 have been identified and mapped by linkage analysis in 40 CEPH families. These markers are (1) a multiallelic RFLP with an observed heterozygosity of 0.72 and (2) a variable (AT3)n short sequence repeat at the poly(A) tail of an Alu sequence (AluVpA) with an observed heterozygosity of 0.83. This locus is close to D21S58 (θ̂ = 0.02, Z ̂ = 36.76) and D21S17 (θ̂ = 0.02, Z ̂ = 21.76) within chromosomal band 21q22.1. Multipoint linkage analysis suggests the most likely locus order to be 21cen-D21S58-IFNAR-D21S17-21qter. Given its high heterozygosity, the IFNAR gene can be used as an index marker on human chromosome 21.
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