We have taken advantage of the presence of retrotransposed L1 elements within the centromeric alphoid sequences of the human genome to characterize polymorphic markers at the centromeres of human chromosomes 17 and 11 (D17S2205 and D11S4975, respectively). They correspond to microsatellites found at the 3' ends of L1 elements inserted within the alpha satellite sequences of the two chromosomes. They were detected after PCR by direct analysis in sequencing gels. Eight and five alleles, respectively, were found with heterozygosities of 0.67 and 0.68. They were converted into STSs by designing primers specific for each. D17S2205 and D11S4975 can be used as genuine anchor-informative genetic points for chromosomes 17 and 11. Both markers have been placed on the available genetic maps of their centromeric regions. The alphoid domain within which D17S2205 is embedded is ancestral to the canonical ones on chromosome 17 that exhibit several haplotypes in present-day human populations.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.