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Sequence Variants in the RNF212 Gene Associate with Genome-Wide Recombination Rate

Science  07 Mar 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5868, pp. 1398-1401
DOI: 10.1126/science.1152422

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Abstract

The genome-wide recombination rate varies between individuals, but the mechanism controlling this variation in humans has remained elusive. A genome-wide search identified sequence variants in the 4p16.3 region correlated with recombination rate in both males and females. These variants are located in the RNF212 gene, a putative ortholog of the ZHP-3 gene that is essential for recombinations and chiasma formation in Caenorhabditis elegans. It is noteworthy that the haplotype formed by two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with the highest recombination rate in males is associated with a low recombination rate in females. Consequently, if the frequency of the haplotype changes, the average recombination rate will increase for one sex and decrease for the other, but the sex-averaged recombination rate of the population can stay relatively constant.

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