Sequences Homologous to the Human X- and Y-Borne Zinc Finger Protein Genes (ZFX/Y) Are Autosomal in Monotreme Mammals Academic Article uri icon


  • The human zinc finger protein genes (ZFX/Y) were identified as a result of a systematic search for the testis-determining factor gene on the human Y chromosome. Although they play no direct role in sex determination, they are of particular interest because they are highly conserved among mammals, birds, and amphibians and because, in eutherian mammals at least, they have active alleles on both the X and the Y chromosomes outside the pseudoautosomal region. We used in situ hybridization to localize the homologues of the zinc finger protein gene to chromosome 1 of the Australian echidna and to an equivalent position on chromosomes 1 and 2 of the platypus. The localization to platypus chromosome 1 was confirmed by Southern analysis of a Chinese hamster x platypus cell hybrid retaining most of platypus chromosome 1. This localization is consistent with the cytological homology of chromosome 1 between the two species. The zinc finger protein gene homologues were localized to regions of platypus chromosomes 1 and 2 that included a number of other genes situated near ZFX on the short arm of the human X chromosome. These results support the hypothesis that many of the genes located on the short arm of the human X were originally autosomal and have been translocated to the X chromosome since the eutherian-metatherian divergence.

publication date

  • February 1993