Distal mouse chromosome 16 (MMU16) shares conserved linkage with human chromosome 21 (HSA21), trisomy for which causes Down syndrome (DS). A 4.5-Mb physical map extending from Cbr1 to Tmprss2 on MMU16 provides a minimal tiling path of P1 artificial chromosomes (PACs) for comparative mapping and genomic sequencing. Thirty-four expressed sequences were positioned on the mouse map, including 19 that were not physically mapped previously. This region of the mouse:human comparative map shows a high degree of evolutionary conservation of gene order and content, which differs only by insertion of one gene (in mouse) and a small inversion involving two adjacent genes. "Low-pass" (2.2x) mouse sequence from a portion of the contig was ordered and oriented along 510 kb of finished HSA21 sequence. In combination with 68 kb of unique PAC end sequence, the comparison provided confirmation of genes predicted by comparative mapping, indicated gene predictions that are likely to be incorrect, and identified three candidate genes in mouse and human that were not observed in the initial HSA21 sequence annotation. This comparative map and sequence derived from it are powerful tools for identifying genes and regulatory regions, information that will in turn provide insights into the genetic mechanisms by which trisomy 21 results in DS.
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