Molecular characterization of the Pb recombination hotspot in the mouse major histocompatibility complex class II region

Taku Isobe, Masayasu Yoshino, Ken Ichi Mizuno, Kirsten Fischer Lindahl, Tsuyoshi Koide, Silvana Gaudieri, Takashi Gojobori, Toshihiko Shiroishi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In the mouse major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II region, meiotic recombination breakpoints are clustered in four specific sites known as hotspots. Here we reveal the primary structure of a hotspot near the Pb gene. A total of 12 crossover points were found to be confined to a 15-kb DNA segment of the Pb pseudogene. Moreover, the crossover points are concentrated in a 341-bp segment, which includes a part of exon 4 and intron 4 of the Pb gene. All four MHC hotspots appear to be located within genes or at the 3′ end of genes, contrasting with characterized hotspots in budding yeast, which are mostly located at the 5′-promoter regions of genes. The Pb hotspot has several consensus motifs, an octamer transcription factor-binding sequence, the B-motif-like transcription factor-binding sequence, and tandem repeats of tetramer sequence - all of which are shared by the other three hotspots. Systematic analysis of the public database demonstrated that the full motif set occurs rarely in the nucleotide sequence of the entire MHC class II region. All results suggest that the motif set has an indispensable role in determining their site specificity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-235
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Tomoko Ogawa (Iwate College of Nursing) for her continuous discussion and encouragement throughout this study. We thank Michel Steinmetz (Hoffman-La Roche & Co., Ltd.) for the gift of the DNA probes. This study was supported in part by grants in aid from the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture of Japan. This paper is contribution no. 2463 from the National Institute of Genetics, Japan.


  • Crossover
  • Hotspot
  • MHC
  • Meiosis
  • Mouse
  • Recombination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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