Hypervariable minisatellite DNA is a hotspot for homologous recombination in human cells

Cell. 1990 Jan 12;60(1):95-103. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(90)90719-u.


Hypervariable minisatellite DNA sequences are short tandemly repeated sequences that are present throughout the human genome and are implicated to enhance recombination. We have constructed a consensus hypervariable minisatellite sequence and analyzed its effect on homologous recombination in human cells in culture. The consensus sequence d(AGAGGTGGGCAGGTGG)6.5 is shown to stimulate homologous recombination up to 13.5-fold. The stimulation occurs at a distance and in both directions but does show a quantitative directionality. Stimulation occurs in a codominant manner, and the sequence is inherited equally in the products. Enhancement is maintained, but at a reduced level, when double-strand breaks are introduced into the substrates. Multiple unselected recombination events are promoted, and preferential stimulation of reciprocal exchange events is demonstrated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Fusion
  • Cell Line
  • DNA, Satellite / genetics*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / chemical synthesis
  • Plasmids
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Transfection
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms


  • DNA, Satellite
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides