Sau3A digestion of human G + C-rich DNA molecules yields discrete bands of approximately 70 and 140 base-pairs, under-represented in A + T-rich DNA molecules and in total DNA. We have cloned the 70 base-pair band in a plasmid vector and isolated a representative recombinant clone that identifies a new human family of repeats, the Sau3A family. The new family has been characterized for a number of parameters: (1) genomic organization; (2) reiteration frequency; (3) sequence analysis; and (4) distribution in a human genomic library. The Sau3A sequence (68 base-pairs in length, 53% G + C) is present in approximately 4 × 104 copies/haploid genome; the family is characterized by a cluster organization and is confined to a limited fraction (0.5%) of phages of a human genomic library. Southern blot hybridizations of the cloned sequence to restriction digests of total human DNA and of isolated genomic clones does not show the involvement of Sau3A blocks in long-range periodicities for any of the enzymes tested. The data suggest either a high sequence variability in the family or a complex organization of Sau3A sequence domains.
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