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Of Mice and Men: Human Chromosome 17 Sequence Published

25 April 2006. Chromosome 17, which started evolutionary life as half of a mouse chromosome, makes its debut in the April 20 issue of Nature, sequenced by a multi-institutional team led by Michael Zody and Chad Nussbaum of the Broad Institute of Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge. The stretch of 17p11 to q25 has been implicated in linkage scans for schizophrenia, and several specific genes have become suspects in schizophrenia and/or mood disorders, including the gene for 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNP, see SRF related news story) and for the serotonin transporter (5-HTT or SERT).

Also in residence is LIS1, mutations of which cause the developmental disorder lissencephaly. In this case, there is suspicion by association—the Lis1 protein (see SRF related news story) has been reported to form complexes with disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1). Also on chromosome 17, there are genes associated with other diseases that can feature psychosis, including genes for huntingtin-associated protein and tau. Tau is one of the two proteins that accumulate in Alzheimer disease, and mutations in tau also cause frontotemporal dementia, a hereditary disorder that in the early stages often mimics schizophrenia, before the symptoms change to look more like a classic dementia.

Some Fun Facts about chromosome 17 from the paper: "Chromosome 17 is unusual among the human chromosomes in many respects. It is the largest human autosome with orthology to only a single mouse chromosome, mapping entirely to the distal half of mouse chromosome 11. Chromosome 17 is rich in protein-coding genes, having the second-highest gene density in the genome. It is also enriched in segmental duplications, ranking third in density among the autosomes."—Hakon Heimer.

Zody MC, Garber M, Adams DJ, Sharpe T, Harrow J, Lupski JR, Nicholson C, Searle SM, Wilming L, Young SK, Abouelleil A, Allen NR, Bi W, Bloom T, Borowsky ML, Bugalter BE, Butler J, Chang JL, Chen CK, Cook A, Corum B, Cuomo CA, de Jong PJ, Decaprio D, Dewar K, Fitzgerald M, Gilbert J, Gibson R, Gnerre S, Goldstein S, Grafham DV, Grocock R, Hafez N, Hagopian DS, Hart E, Norman CH, Humphray S, Jaffe DB, Jones M, Kamal M, Khodiyar VK, Labutti K, Laird G, Lehoczky J, Liu X, Lokyitsang T, Loveland J, Lui A, Macdonald P, Major JE, Matthews L, Mauceli E, McCarroll SA, Mihalev AH, Mudge J, Nguyen C, Nicol R, O'leary SB, Osoegawa K, Schwartz DC, Shaw-Smith C, Stankiewicz P, Steward C, Swarbreck D, Venkataraman V, Whittaker CA, Yang X, Zimmer AR, Bradley A, Hubbard T, Birren BW, Rogers J, Lander ES, Nusbaum C. DNA sequence of human chromosome 17 and analysis of rearrangement in the human lineage. Nature. 2006 Apr 20;440(7087):1045-9. Abstract

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