Although their function has not yet been clearly elucidated, interstitial telomeric sequences (ITSs) have been cytogenetically associated with chromosomal reorganizations, fragile sites, and recombination hotspots. In this paper, we show that ITSs are not located at the exact evolutionary breakpoints of the inversions between human and chimpanzee and between human and rhesus macaque chromosomes. We proved that ITSs are not signs of repair in the breakpoints of the chromosome reorganizations analyzed. We found ITSs in the region (0.7-2.7 Mb) flanking one of the two breakpoints in all the inversions assessed. The presence of ITSs in those locations is not by chance. They are short (up to 7.83 repeats) and almost perfect (82.5-97.1% matches). The ITSs are conserved in the species compared, showing that they were present before the reorganizations occurred.
Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.