The wm7 haplotype of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), derived from the Japanese wild mouse Mus musculus molossinus, enhances recombination specific to female meiosis in the K/Aβ interval of the MHC. We have mapped crossover points of fifteen independent recombinants from genetic crosses of the wm7 and laboratory haplotypes. Most of them were confined to a short segment of approximately 1 kilobase (kb) of DNA between the Aβ3 and Aβ2 genes, indicating the presence of a female-specific recombinational hotspot. Its location overlaps with a sex-independent hotspot previously identified in the Mus musculus castaneus CAS3 haplotype. We have cloned and sequenced DNA fragments surrounding the hotspot from the wm7 haplotype and the corresponding regions from the hotspot-negative B10.A and C57BL/10 strains. There is no significant difference between the sequences of these three strains, or between these and the published sequences of the CAS3 and C57BL/6 strains. However, a comparison of this Aβ3/Aβ2 hotspot with a previously characterized hotspot in the Eβ gene revealed that they have a very similar molecular organization. Each hotspot consists of two elements, the consensus sequence of the mouse middle repetitive MT family and the tetrameric repeated sequences, which are separated by 1 kb of DNA.
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