The development and refinement of the rat genome map is a prerequisite for a continued qualified and fruitful use of this model system for the study of complex traits. In two distinct rat cancer models, recurrent amplification affecting the proximal region of rat Chr 4 was detected. To further characterize this region, we turned to the evolutionarily conserved chromosome segments in human Chr 7 and mouse Chrs 5 and 6 to identify functional and positional candidate genes. By means of single- and dual-color FISH on metaphase, prometaphase, and interphase chromatin, 15 genes in rat Chr 4q11-q23 (Cdk5, Hgf, Dmtf1, Abcb1, Cyp51, Cdk6, Tac1, Asns, Cav1, Met, Wnt2, Cftr, Smoh, Braf, Arhgef5) were mapped and aligned. In the course of this work, six cancer-related rat genes were isolated de novo and partly sequenced. Ten loci were also mapped by FISH in the mouse. The map provides the framework for a more detailed genetic characterization of individual tumor amplicons, but may also be valuable for the analysis of this region in other rat models of human complex disease. In addition, our data facilitate the analysis of events in mammalian chromosomal evolution affecting the region. In a comparison with human sequence data, we found that there is considerable conservation in this region both in gene order and in distances between genes. There is a single evolutionary breakpoint between rat and mouse and two between rat and human. Since our analysis shows that the three breaks all occurred in different positions, they must be independent of one another. The data tend to support the notion that the genomic configuration in rat Chr 4 is ancestral compared with that in humans and mice.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 19, 2014
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