satellite DNA

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sat·el·lite DNA

DNA in the satellite regions of acrocentric chromosomes.

satellite DNA

A portion of DNA in eukaryotes whose density differs from that of the majority of DNA and that consists of short, repeating sequences of nucleotide pairs, often found near the region of the centromere.
Highly repetitive, non-transcribed DNA regions in eukaryotic chromosomes that have a different sedimentatin coefficient than other nuclear DNA. Satellite DNA contains many thousands to over 100,000 tandem—not inverted—repeats of a short basic motif or repeat unit—commonly 100 to 300 base pairs which occur at a few loci on the genome unit and differ from ‘main band’ DNA

satellite DNA

tandemly repeated DNA, in which the DNA fragments involved form minor ‘satellite’ bands when genomic DNA (see GENOME).is fractionated by DENSITY-GRADIENT CENTRIFUGATION. Satellite bands of eucaryotic DNA fragments are composed of a long series (often hundreds of kb in length) of tandem repeats. There can be several different types of satellite DNA in a particular genome, with repeat units of 5 to 200bp. An example of satellite DNA is the alphoid DNA repeat in the CENTROMERE of eucaryotic CHROMOSOMES. Other types of tandemly repeated DNA are MINISATELLITES and MICROSATELLITES, although they do not appear in satellite bands on density gradients.


DNA binding proteins
are of two general types, histone proteins which are part of the unit structure of chromosomes called nucleosomes and nonhistone proteins which are present in small amounts and include regulatory proteins.
chromosomal DNA
circular DNA
a DNA molecule that is a closed-ring structure, found in mitochondria, prokaryote chromosomes, plasmids, and certain viruses.
closed DNA complexes
the first of two kinetically distinct steps required for RNA polymerase to initiate transcription in which the RNA polymerase holoenzyme binds electrostatically to the promoter DNA.
DNA construct
a DNA molecule which has been inserted into a cloning vector.
copy DNA
a DNA copy of mRNA which contains only regulatory and coding sequences, i.e. introns have been removed. mRNA is copied into double-stranded DNA using reverse transcriptase; the cDNA can then be cloned and amplified and introduced into an expression vector (plasmid or phage) and its protein product produced in either bacterial, yeast, insect or mammalian cells. Called also cDNA.
DNA deletion
DNA double helix
see double helix.
duplex DNA
double-stranded DNA.
end labeling DNA
methods for labeling DNA with radioisotopes or other detectable marker molecules at the ends using the terminal transferase 3′-labeling or polynucleotide kinase for 5′-labeling.
episomal DNA
that present in a cell as extra chromosomal; exemplified by plasmids of prokaryotic cells. See plasmid.
eukaryotic DNA
exogenous DNA
the DNA that has been introduced into a host by cloning.
DNA glycosylases
enzymes involved in the excision-repair mechanisms for DNA.
heteroduplex DNA
duplex DNA with each strand from a different origin.
DNA gyrase
see gyrase.
DNA library
a collection of cloned DNA molecules from a genome.
DNA ligase
an enzyme that seals nicks in the DNA helix, joins Okazaki fragments together during DNA replication and is essential in recombinant DNA technology for DNA cloning.
DNA microarray
an ordered set of thousands of different oligonucleotides immobilized on a microscope slide or other solid surface used for the detection of cognate nucleotide sequences such as the pattern of gene expression in a particular cell population by hybridization with fluorescently labeled cDNA prepared from total mRNA isolated from the cells.
mobile DNA
a sequence present in the variable locations on the chromosome. Called also jumping genes. See also retrotransposon and transposable genetic elements.
open DNA complex
a local opening of about 10 base pairs formed at the transcription initiation site following the electrostatic binding of RNA polymerase holoenzyme to the promoter region.
DNA polymerase
of Escherichia coli; has three distinct enzymatic activities: (a) a 5′ to 3′ polymerase activity which, under the direction of a template DNA, catalyzes the addition of mononucleotide units, produced from deoxynucleoside 5′-triphosphates, to the 3′-hydroxyl terminus of a primer chain; (b) a 5′ to 3′ exonuclease active only on duplex DNA; (c) a 3′ to 5′ exonuclease primarily active on single-stranded DNA which can selectively remove mismatched terminal nucleotides, thus carrying out a proofreading function. Additionally it catalyzes both the pyrophosphorolysis of DNA, a reaction which is the reverse of polymerization, and pyrophosphate exchange which represents a repetitive sequence of nucleotide addition and pyrophosphorolysis.
DNA probe
see probe (2).
DNA repair
a series of enzymatic mechanisms whereby errors or damage to one of the two DNA strands are removed by excision and replaced by correct nucleotides using the undamaged strand as template. The mechanisms include removal of lesions of depurination and DNA glycosylases which recognize altered bases.
repeat DNA, repetitive DNA
includes (a) satellite DNA and so-called (b) interspersed repeated DNA sequences. The latter are interspread throughout the chromosomes in hundreds of thousands of individual copies, each about 300 nucleotides long; they are, unlike satellite DNA, transcribed.
satellite DNA
serially repeated DNA sequences of one or a few nucleotides with a repeat length of up to 250 nucleotides that are not transcribed and commonly located in the heterochromatin associated with the centrometric regions of chromosomes.
selfish DNA
a mobile DNA element that appears to have no function except to replicate itself. Part of junk DNA.
DNA sequencing
determining the order of nucleotides in DNA from which amino acid in a polypeptide chain can be predicted.
single-copy DNA
the fraction of DNA that contains most of the protein-coding genes and reassociates most slowly.
single-stranded DNA
produced when double-stranded DNA is denatured or found naturally in some viruses.
spacer DNA
single-copy DNA sequences which do not encode proteins or functional RNA molecules.
supercoiled DNA
the double helix is itself twisted.
superhelical DNA
a twisted structure formed by circular DNA molecules. See also supercoiled DNA (above).
DNA transcription
DNA translation
unique DNA
DNA sequences that occur only once in the haploid genome.
DNA viruses
contain a single molecule of DNA that is either double or single stranded. Parvoviruses and circoviruses are single stranded, hepadnaviruses are partially double stranded and all others are double stranded. DNA virus families are: Poxviridae, Asfarviridae,Herpesviridae, Adenoviridae, Papovaviridae, Parvoviridae, Circoviridae, and Hepadnaviridae.
an alternative structural form of DNA which differs from the more commonly occurring B- and related A-form in that the helix is left handed compared with the right hand helixes of B- and A-forms. Z is for zig-zag. The functional significance of Z-DNA is unknown.


1. in genetics, a knob of chromatin connected by a stalk to the short arm of certain chromosomes.
2. a minor, or attendant, lesion situated near a large one.
3. a vein that closely accompanies an artery.
4. exhibiting satellitism.

satellite cell
cells present in nervous and muscle tissue, whose numbers diminish with age, which are involved in repair when damage occurs. They are capable of migration, reorientation, can proliferate, form myoblasts and myotubes, and form long cytoplasmic tails that act as tethers when they migrate.
satellite DNA