Background: Genes are not randomly distributed on a chromosome as they were thought even after removal of tandem repeats. The positional clustering of co-expressed genes is known in prokaryotes and recently reported in several eukaryotic organisms such as Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, and Homo sapiens. In order to further investigate the mode of tissue-specific gene clustering in higher eukaryotes, we have performed a genome-scale analysis of positional clustering of the mouse testis-specific genes.
Results: Our computational analysis shows that a large proportion of testis-specific genes are clustered in groups of 2 to 5 genes in the mouse genome. The number of clusters is much higher than expected by chance even after removal of tandem repeats.
Conclusion: Our result suggests that testis-specific genes tend to cluster on the mouse chromosomes. This provides another piece of evidence for the hypothesis that clusters of tissue-specific genes do exist.