We have isolated a DNA clone (pMR9A) that identifies an alphoid DNA subset specific for chromosome 9. This alphoid subset is characterized by a dimeric organization as revealed by Southern blot analysis after digestion with HaeIII, HinfI, or StuI. Nonradioactive in situ hybridization demonstrated that pMR9A hybridizes only to the centromeric region of chromosome 9 and reveals chromosome 9 aneuploidies in interphase nuclei. In addition, the probe detects quantitative differences in alpha satellite DNA on chromosome 9, but these quantitative differences are not correlated with the size of the heterochromatic region. Double-labeling experiments, using a chromosome 9-specific satellite 3 clone and pMR9A, enabled us spatially to distinguish the alphoid and satellite 3 domains on metaphase chromosomes after treatment of the cultures with 5-azacytidine.
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