By using primers synthesized on the basis of the bovine βA2 crystallin gene sequence, we amplified exerts 5 and 6 of the human gene (CRYBA2). CRYBA2 was assigned to human chromosome 2 by concordance analysis in human x rodent somatic cell hybrids using the amplified PCR products as probe. Regional localization to 2q34-q36 was established by hybridizing the CRYBA2 probe to microcell and radiation hybrids containing defined fragments of chromosome 2 as the only human contribution. The CRYBA2 probe was also used to localize, by interspecific backcross mapping, the mouse gene (Cryba2) to the central portion of chromosome 1 in a region of known human chromosome 2 homology. Finally, we demonstrate that in both species the βA2 crystallin gene is linked but separable from the γA crystallin gene. The βA2 crystallin gene is a candidate gene for human and mouse hereditary cataract.
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