A new gene family (FAM9) of low-copy repeats in Xp22.3 expressed exclusively in testis: implications for recombinations in this region.
Martinez-Garay I., Jablonka S., Sutajova M., Steuernagel P., Gal A., Kutsche K.
Illegitimate recombinations between low-copy repetitive elements (LCR) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of various chromosomal rearrangements. Two such duplicons have been reported previously on Xp22.3, the CRI-S232 elements, involved in the generation of deletions in the steroidsulfatase gene and five members of the G1.3 (DXF22S) repetitive sequence family. By molecular characterization of an Xp22/10q24 translocation, we identified one duplicon of the G1.3 family in the breakpoint region in Xp22.3. We show that G1.3 elements harbor at least three expressed genes, FAM9A, FAM9B, and FAM9C, and three putative pseudogenes, all mapped to Xp22.33-p22.31. The deduced amino acid sequence of the three novel proteins shows homology to SYCP3, a component of the synaptonemal complex located along the paired chromosomes during meiosis. FAM9A, FAM9B, and FAM9C are expressed exclusively in testis; their proteins are located in the nucleus, and FAM9A localizes to the nucleolus. The presence of genes within duplicons may represent putative recombination-promoting factors for actively transcribed genes in meiotic cells, with the resulting open chromatin structure facilitating unequal crossing-over events and chromosomal rearrangements.