FRA3B at 3p14.2 is the most active of the common fragile sites in the human genome and is expressed when cells are exposed to the DNA replication inhibitor, aphidicolin. Several lines of evidence suggest that fragile sites are regions of late replication. To elucidate the relationship between the timing of replication across the FRA3B region and its corresponding fragility, we labeled cells with 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) and adopted an immunofluorescent procedure to visualize late replicating DNA (BrdU-substituted DNA) in metaphase chromosomes. We also chose 21 markers along the FRA3B region and analyzed the timing of replication using BrdU-labeled DNA from different stages of the cell cycle sorted by flow cytometry. Our results show that there are two distinct alleles that replicate at different stages in the cell cycle and that breaks/gaps preferentially occurred on the chromosome 3 with the late replication allele. These results provide direct evidence that allele-specific late replication is involved in the fragility of the most active common fragile site, FRA3B.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology