satellite dna


Summary: Highly repetitive DNA sequences found in HETEROCHROMATIN, mainly near centromeres. They are composed of simple sequences (very short) (see MINISATELLITE REPEATS) repeated in tandem many times to form large blocks of sequence. Additionally, following the accumulation of mutations, these blocks of repeats have been repeated in tandem themselves. The degree of repetition is on the order of 1000 to 10 million at each locus. Loci are few, usually one or two per chromosome. They were called satellites since in density gradients, they often sediment as distinct, satellite bands separate from the bulk of genomic DNA owing to a distinct BASE COMPOSITION.

Top Publications

  1. Ienne S, Pedroso A, Carmona E Ferreira R, Briones M, Zingales B. Network genealogy of 195-bp satellite DNA supports the superimposed hybridization hypothesis of Trypanosoma cruzi evolutionary pattern. Infect Genet Evol. 2010;10:601-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Here, sequences of the T. cruzi-specific 195-bp satellite DNA of TcI, TcII, TcIII, TcV, and TcVI strains have been used for inferring network genealogies...
  2. Vicari M, Nogaroto V, Noleto R, Cestari M, Cioffi M, Almeida M, et al. Satellite DNA and chromosomes in Neotropical fishes: methods, applications and perspectives. J Fish Biol. 2010;76:1094-116 pubmed publisher
    ..The 5SHindIII-DNA satellite DNA, which is specific to Hoplias malabaricus of the Erythrinidae family, has an exclusively centromeric location...
  3. Jackson K, Yu M, Arakawa K, Fiala E, Youn B, Fiegl H, et al. DNA hypomethylation is prevalent even in low-grade breast cancers. Cancer Biol Ther. 2004;3:1225-31 pubmed
    ..In this study, we compared methylation of Sat2 and centromeric satellite DNA (Satalpha) as well as overall genomic methylation in 41 breast adenocarcinomas of known tumor grade and stage, ..
  4. Sharma S, Raina S. Organization and evolution of highly repeated satellite DNA sequences in plant chromosomes. Cytogenet Genome Res. 2005;109:15-26 pubmed
    ..The tandem satellite DNA sequences exhibit characteristic chromosomal locations, usually at subtelomeric and centromeric regions...
  5. Briddon R, Stanley J. Subviral agents associated with plant single-stranded DNA viruses. Virology. 2006;344:198-210 pubmed
    ..A greater understanding of how they elicit the host response may provide useful information for their control as well as an insight into plant developmental processes. ..
  6. Plohl M, Luchetti A, Mestrović N, Mantovani B. Satellite DNAs between selfishness and functionality: structure, genomics and evolution of tandem repeats in centromeric (hetero)chromatin. Gene. 2008;409:72-82 pubmed publisher
    ..Once considered as inert by-products of genome dynamics in heterochromatic regions, recent studies showed that satellite DNA evolution is interplay of stochastic events and selective pressure...
  7. Petrović V, Plohl M. Sequence divergence and conservation in organizationally distinct subfamilies of Donax trunculus satellite DNA. Gene. 2005;362:37-43 pubmed
    Characterization of a low-copy number DTF1 satellite DNA detected in the bivalve mollusk Donax trunculus revealed extensive grouping of monomer sequence variants into subfamilies identified by distinctive combinations of diagnostic ..
  8. Feliciello I, Picariello O, Chinali G. The first characterisation of the overall variability of repetitive units in a species reveals unexpected features of satellite DNA. Gene. 2005;349:153-64 pubmed
    We investigated the overall variability of the S1a satellite DNA repeats in ten European populations of Rana temporaria by a new procedure that determines the average sequence of the repeats in a genome...
  9. Alkan C, Eichler E, Bailey J, Sahinalp S, Tuzun E. The role of unequal crossover in alpha-satellite DNA evolution: a computational analysis. J Comput Biol. 2004;11:933-44 pubmed
    ..Such sequences are usually called satellites, with the primary example being the centromeric alpha-satellite DNA. The basic repeat unit of the alpha-satellite DNA is a 171 bp monomer...

More Information


  1. Basu J, Stromberg G, Compitello G, Willard H, Van Bokkelen G. Rapid creation of BAC-based human artificial chromosome vectors by transposition with synthetic alpha-satellite arrays. Nucleic Acids Res. 2005;33:587-96 pubmed
    ..Taken together, these approaches offer the potential to significantly advance the utility of BAC-based HACs for functional annotation of the genome and for applications in gene transfer. ..
  2. Li Z, Zhou X, Zhang X, Xie Y. Molecular characterization of tomato-infecting begomoviruses in Yunnan, China. Arch Virol. 2004;149:1721-32 pubmed
    ..In addition, all isolates in Groups I and III were found to be associated with DNAbeta molecules, while satellite DNA was not found in virus isolates in Groups II and IV...
  3. Kazama Y, Sugiyama R, Suto Y, Uchida W, Kawano S. The clustering of four subfamilies of satellite DNA at individual chromosome ends in Silene latifolia. Genome. 2006;49:520-30 pubmed
    The satellite DNA (satDNA) on the ends of chromosomes has been isolated and characterized in the dioecious plant Silene latifolia...
  4. Suárez Santiago V, Blanca G, Ruiz Rejón M, Garrido Ramos M. Satellite-DNA evolutionary patterns under a complex evolutionary scenario: the case of Acrolophus subgroup (Centaurea L., Compositae) from the western Mediterranean. Gene. 2007;404:80-92 pubmed
    ..These facts might reflect the reticulate mode of evolution of Acrolophus. ..
  5. Martins C, Baptista C, Ienne S, Cerqueira G, Bartholomeu D, Zingales B. Genomic organization and transcription analysis of the 195-bp satellite DNA in Trypanosoma cruzi. Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2008;160:60-4 pubmed publisher
    The 195-bp satellite DNA is the most abundant Trypanosoma cruzi repetitive sequence. Here we show by RNA blotting and RT-PCR that 195 SAT is intensely transcribed...
  6. Shestakova E, Mansuroglu Z, Mokrani H, Ghinea N, Bonnefoy E. Transcription factor YY1 associates with pericentromeric gamma-satellite DNA in cycling but not in quiescent (G0) cells. Nucleic Acids Res. 2004;32:4390-9 pubmed
    Pericentromeric gamma-satellite DNA is organized in constitutive heterochromatin structures. It comprises a 234 bp sequence repeated several thousands times surrounding the centromeric sequence of all murine chromosomes...
  7. Guenatri M, Bailly D, Maison C, Almouzni G. Mouse centric and pericentric satellite repeats form distinct functional heterochromatin. J Cell Biol. 2004;166:493-505 pubmed
    ..Thus, we define functionally independent centromeric subdomains, which spatio-temporal isolation is proposed to be important for centromeric cohesion and dissociation during chromosome segregation. ..
  8. Chadwick B. DXZ4 chromatin adopts an opposing conformation to that of the surrounding chromosome and acquires a novel inactive X-specific role involving CTCF and antisense transcripts. Genome Res. 2008;18:1259-69 pubmed publisher
  9. Kuhn G, Franco F, Silva W, Martinez Rossi N, Sene F. On the pBuM189 satellite DNA variability among South American populations of Drosophila buzzatii. Hereditas. 2003;139:161-6 pubmed
    The pBuM189 satellite DNA was analysed in Drosophila buzzatii populations that cover most of the species distribution in South America...
  10. Piras F, Nergadze S, Magnani E, Bertoni L, Attolini C, Khoriauli L, et al. Uncoupling of satellite DNA and centromeric function in the genus Equus. PLoS Genet. 2010;6:e1000845 pubmed publisher
    ..centromeres, including the previously described evolutionary new centromeres (ENCs), seem to be devoid of satellite DNA, and 2) satellite repeats are often present at non-centromeric termini, probably corresponding to relics of ..
  11. Alkan C, Bailey J, Eichler E, Sahinalp S, Tuzun E. An algorithmic analysis of the role of unequal crossover in alpha-satellite DNA evolution. Genome Inform. 2002;13:93-102 pubmed
    ..Such sequences are usually called satellites, with the primary example being the centromeric alpha-satellite DNA. The basic repeat unit of the alpha-satellite DNA is a 171 bp monomer...
  12. Ma J, Jackson S. Retrotransposon accumulation and satellite amplification mediated by segmental duplication facilitate centromere expansion in rice. Genome Res. 2006;16:251-9 pubmed
  13. Alexiadis V, Ballestas M, Sanchez C, Winokur S, Vedanarayanan V, Warren M, et al. RNAPol-ChIP analysis of transcription from FSHD-linked tandem repeats and satellite DNA. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007;1769:29-40 pubmed
    ..ChIP and RT-PCR showed satellite DNA transcription in some cancers and lymphoblastoid cell lines, although only at a low level...
  14. Bulazel K, Metcalfe C, Ferreri G, Yu J, Eldridge M, O Neill R. Cytogenetic and molecular evaluation of centromere-associated DNA sequences from a marsupial (Macropodidae: Macropus rufogriseus) X chromosome. Genetics. 2006;172:1129-37 pubmed
  15. Kon T, Rojas M, Abdourhamane I, Gilbertson R. Roles and interactions of begomoviruses and satellite DNAs associated with okra leaf curl disease in Mali, West Africa. J Gen Virol. 2009;90:1001-13 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings are discussed in terms of the aetiology of OLCD and the evolution of new begomovirus/satellite DNA complexes.
  16. Petrovic V, Perez Garcia C, Pasantes J, Satović E, Prats E, Plohl M. A GC-rich satellite DNA and karyology of the bivalve mollusk Donax trunculus: a dominance of GC-rich heterochromatin. Cytogenet Genome Res. 2009;124:63-71 pubmed publisher
    We characterized the DTF2 satellite DNA family of the clam Donaxtrunculus and compared its chromosomal localization with cytogenetic data revealed by fluorochrome banding, C-banding, and 28S rDNA FISH...
  17. Adega F, Guedes Pinto H, Chaves R. Satellite DNA in the karyotype evolution of domestic animals--clinical considerations. Cytogenet Genome Res. 2009;126:12-20 pubmed publisher
    ..Different important functions have been ascribed to satellite DNA, from the imperative centromeric function in mitosis and meiosis to the recent discovery of its involvement in ..
  18. Patil B, Fauquet C. Differential interaction between cassava mosaic geminiviruses and geminivirus satellites. J Gen Virol. 2010;91:1871-82 pubmed publisher
    ..These results call for more detailed analyses of these subviral components and an investigation of their possible interaction with the cassava mosaic disease complex...
  19. Cabrero J, Perfectti F, Gomez R, Camacho J, López León M. Population variation in the A chromosome distribution of satellite DNA and ribosomal DNA in the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans. Chromosome Res. 2003;11:375-81 pubmed
    The double FISH analysis of two repetitive DNAs (a satellite DNA and ribosomal DNA) in 12 natural populations of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans collected at the south (Granada and Málaga provinces) and south-east (Albacete and ..
  20. Mravinac B, Ugarković E, Franjević D, Plohl M. Long inversely oriented subunits form a complex monomer of Tribolium brevicornis satellite DNA. J Mol Evol. 2005;60:513-25 pubmed
    Highly abundant satellite DNA named TBREV is detected and characterized in the beetle Tribolium brevicornis (Insecta: Coleoptera)...
  21. Vicente V, Bertollo L, Valentini S, Filho O. Origin and differentiation of a sex chromosome system in Parodon hilarii (Pisces, Parodontidae). Satellite DNA, G- and C-banding. Genetica. 2003;119:115-20 pubmed
    A satellite DNA sequence of Parodon hilarii (named pPh2004) was isolated, cloned and sequenced. This satellite DNA is composed of 200bp, 60% AT rich...
  22. Kotzamanis G, Cheung W, Abdulrazzak H, Pérez Luz S, Howe S, Cooke H, et al. Construction of human artificial chromosome vectors by recombineering. Gene. 2005;351:29-38 pubmed
    ..The method can also be used to link any unrelated BAC or PAC insert onto another BAC clone. The EL350 bacteria are an excellent host for building up complex vectors by a combination of homologous and loxP/Cre recombination. ..
  23. Lopez Flores I, de la Herran R, Garrido Ramos M, Boudry P, Ruiz Rejón C, Ruiz Rejón M. The molecular phylogeny of oysters based on a satellite DNA related to transposons. Gene. 2004;339:181-8 pubmed
    We have analysed a centromeric satellite DNA family that is conserved in several commercial and non-commercial oyster species (Ostrea edulis, O. stentina, Crassostrea angulata, C. gigas, C. gasar, C. ariakensis, C. virginica and C...
  24. Mravinac B, Plohl M, Ugarkovic D. Preservation and high sequence conservation of satellite DNAs suggest functional constraints. J Mol Evol. 2005;61:542-50 pubmed
    ..Here we demonstrate that the satellite DNA family PSUB, abundant in the beetle Palorus subdepressus, is distributed in a low number of copies among ..
  25. Jiang T, Liu P, Liao B, Wu J, Huang C. Malvastrum yellow vein Yunnan virus is amonopartite begomovirus. Acta Virol. 2010;54:21-6 pubmed
    ..benthamiana plants. The above results indicated that MYVYNV is a monopartite begomovirus and its association with DNAb is not necessary for the infection of plants, but is able to intensify symptoms specific for the disease. ..
  26. Zhang Y, Huang Y, Zhang L, Li Y, Lu T, Lu Y, et al. Structural features of the rice chromosome 4 centromere. Nucleic Acids Res. 2004;32:2023-30 pubmed
    ..The presence of three intact retrotransposons in the centromere suggests that they may be responsible for functional centromere initiation through a transcription-mediated mechanism. ..
  27. Gilbert N, Boyle S, Fiegler H, Woodfine K, Carter N, Bickmore W. Chromatin architecture of the human genome: gene-rich domains are enriched in open chromatin fibers. Cell. 2004;118:555-66 pubmed
    ..We suggest that domains of open chromatin may create an environment that facilitates transcriptional activation and could provide an evolutionary constraint to maintain clusters of genes together along chromosomes. ..
  28. Bosco G, Campbell P, Leiva Neto J, Markow T. Analysis of Drosophila species genome size and satellite DNA content reveals significant differences among strains as well as between species. Genetics. 2007;177:1277-90 pubmed
    ..Furthermore, by measuring polyploid 16C ovarian follicle cell underreplication we estimated the amount of satellite DNA in each of these species...
  29. Paar V, Pavin N, Rosandic M, Gluncic M, Basar I, Pezer R, et al. ColorHOR--novel graphical algorithm for fast scan of alpha satellite higher-order repeats and HOR annotation for GenBank sequence of human genome. Bioinformatics. 2005;21:846-52 pubmed
    ..For the first time, we determine exact consensus lengths of HORs in 10 chromosomes. We propose that the HOR assignment obtained by using ColorHOR be included into the GenBank database. ..
  30. Usakin L, Abad J, Vagin V, de Pablos B, Villasante A, Gvozdev V. Transcription of the 1.688 satellite DNA family is under the control of RNA interference machinery in Drosophila melanogaster ovaries. Genetics. 2007;176:1343-9 pubmed
    ..The strength of the effects of the spn-E mutation differs for 1.688 satellite DNA subfamilies and is more pronounced for autosomal pericentromeric satellites compared to the X-linked ..
  31. Kuhn G, Sene F. Characterisation and interpopulation variability of a complex HpaI satellite DNA of Drosophila seriema (repleta group). Genetica. 2004;121:241-9 pubmed
    A HpaI satellite DNA has been isolated and characterised from the genome of Drosophila seriema, a cactus-breeding species endemic to the rock fields of the Espinhaço Range in Brazil...
  32. Wu R, Singh P, Gilbert D. Uncoupling global and fine-tuning replication timing determinants for mouse pericentric heterochromatin. J Cell Biol. 2006;174:185-94 pubmed
  33. Tek A, Song J, Macas J, Jiang J. Sobo, a recently amplified satellite repeat of potato, and its implications for the origin of tandemly repeated sequences. Genetics. 2005;170:1231-8 pubmed
    Highly repetitive satellite DNA sequences are main components of heterochromatin in higher eukaryotic genomes...
  34. Carvalho de Azevedo M, Oliveira C, Martins C, Pinto Wasko A, Foresti F. Isolation and characterization of a satellite DNA family in Achirus lineatus (Teleostei: Pleuronectiformes: Achiridae). Genetica. 2005;125:205-10 pubmed
    ..72% AT-rich. FISH experiments using a Al-HindIII sequence as probe showed bright signals in the centromeric position of all chromosomes of A. lineatus. ..
  35. Ugarkovic D. Functional elements residing within satellite DNAs. EMBO Rep. 2005;6:1035-9 pubmed
    ..differentially expressed transcripts in several species, are consistent with the hypothesis that satellite DNA could have a regulatory role in eukaryotic organisms...
  36. Enukashvily N, Donev R, Sheer D, Podgornaya O. Satellite DNA binding and cellular localisation of RNA helicase P68. J Cell Sci. 2005;118:611-22 pubmed
    ..Column fractions were tested for specific binding to mouse minor satellite DNA using a gel mobility shift assay. The protein was identified by mass spectrometry as RNA helicase P68...
  37. Ekes C, Csonka E, Hadlaczky G, Cserpán I. Isolation, cloning and characterization of two major satellite DNA families of rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Gene. 2004;343:271-9 pubmed
    ..The differences in the chromosomal distribution of satellite families will help easy FISH identification of individual chromosomes, as well as to unveil the evolutionary history of the Leporidae karyotype. ..
  38. Yoshimura A, Nakata A, Mito T, Noji S. The characteristics of karyotype and telomeric satellite DNA sequences in the cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus (Orthoptera, Gryllidae). Cytogenet Genome Res. 2006;112:329-36 pubmed
    ..In addition, this paper reports on the characteristics of HindIII satellite DNA isolated from the genome of G. bimaculatus. The HindIII repetitive fragments were about 0...
  39. Lee H, Neumann P, Macas J, Jiang J. Transcription and evolutionary dynamics of the centromeric satellite repeat CentO in rice. Mol Biol Evol. 2006;23:2505-20 pubmed
    b>Satellite DNA is a major component of centromeric heterochromatin in most multicellular eukaryotes, where it is typically organized into megabase-sized tandem arrays...
  40. Roizes G. Human centromeric alphoid domains are periodically homogenized so that they vary substantially between homologues. Mechanism and implications for centromere functioning. Nucleic Acids Res. 2006;34:1912-24 pubmed
  41. Alkan C, Ventura M, Archidiacono N, Rocchi M, Sahinalp S, Eichler E. Organization and evolution of primate centromeric DNA from whole-genome shotgun sequence data. PLoS Comput Biol. 2007;3:1807-18 pubmed
    The major DNA constituent of primate centromeres is alpha satellite DNA. As much as 2%-5% of sequence generated as part of primate genome sequencing projects consists of this material, which is fragmented or not assembled as part of ..
  42. Robles F, de la Herran R, Ludwig A, Ruiz Rejón C, Ruiz Rejón M, Garrido Ramos M. Evolution of ancient satellite DNAs in sturgeon genomes. Gene. 2004;338:133-42 pubmed
    This study characterizes a repetitive DNA family of sequences in sturgeon, the PstI satellite DNA. We have found a high degree of preservation for these sequences, which are present in all 13 species analyzed, including within the genera ..
  43. Kim J, Ebersole T, Kouprina N, Noskov V, Ohzeki J, Masumoto H, et al. Human gamma-satellite DNA maintains open chromatin structure and protects a transgene from epigenetic silencing. Genome Res. 2009;19:533-44 pubmed publisher
    ..We show that human gamma-satellite DNA arrays allow a transcriptionally permissive chromatin conformation in an adjacent transgene and efficiently ..
  44. Cardone M, Ballarati L, Ventura M, Rocchi M, Marozzi A, Ginelli E, et al. Evolution of beta satellite DNA sequences: evidence for duplication-mediated repeat amplification and spreading. Mol Biol Evol. 2004;21:1792-9 pubmed
    ..Then, after orangutan divergence, BSR acquired the clustered structural organization typical of satellite DNA.
  45. Bussiek M, Hoischen C, Diekmann S, Bennink M. Sequence-specific physical properties of African green monkey alpha-satellite DNA contribute to centromeric heterochromatin formation. J Struct Biol. 2009;167:36-46 pubmed publisher
    b>Satellite DNA, a major component of eukaryotic centromeric heterochromatin, is potentially associated with the processes ensuring the faithful segregation of the genetic material during cell division...
  46. Anamthawat Jónsson K, Wenke T, Thórsson A, Sveinsson S, Zakrzewski F, Schmidt T. Evolutionary diversification of satellite DNA sequences from Leymus (Poaceae: Triticeae). Genome. 2009;52:381-90 pubmed publisher
    ..A family of highly repetitive satellite DNA sequences, designated Lt1, was obtained from this library...
  47. Lorite P, Carrillo J, Tinaut A, Palomeque T. Evolutionary dynamics of satellite DNA in species of the Genus Formica (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Gene. 2004;332:159-68 pubmed
    The satellite DNA has been characterized in eight species of the Formica genus. This satellite DNA is organized as tandemly repeated 129-bp monomers in all species and it presents internal inverted repeats...
  48. Mansoor S, Zafar Y, Briddon R. Geminivirus disease complexes: the threat is spreading. Trends Plant Sci. 2006;11:209-12 pubmed
    ..Further investigation into the promiscuous nature of these satellites and their ability to recruit further begomoviruses indicates that regions not yet affected by such begomovirus-satellite complexes are at great risk. ..
  49. Martinsen L, Venanzetti F, Johnsen A, Sbordoni V, Bachmann L. Molecular evolution of the pDo500 satellite DNA family in Dolichopoda cave crickets (Rhaphidophoridae). BMC Evol Biol. 2009;9:301 pubmed publisher
    Non-coding satellite DNA (satDNA) usually has a high turn-over rate frequently leading to species specific patterns. However, some satDNA families evolve more slowly and can be found in several related species...
  50. Pons J, Bruvo B, Petitpierre E, Plohl M, Ugarkovic D, Juan C. Complex structural features of satellite DNA sequences in the genus Pimelia (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae): random differential amplification from a common 'satellite DNA library'. Heredity (Edinb). 2004;92:418-27 pubmed
    ..between the phylogeny obtained based on three mitochondrial and two nuclear markers and that deduced from satellite DNA (stDNA) sequences suggests that the different Pimelia satellites were already present in a common ancestor ..
  51. Bussiek M, Müller G, Waldeck W, Diekmann S, Langowski J. Organisation of nucleosomal arrays reconstituted with repetitive African green monkey alpha-satellite DNA as analysed by atomic force microscopy. Eur Biophys J. 2007;37:81-93 pubmed
    Alpha-satellite DNA (AS) is part of centromeric DNA and could be relevant for centromeric chromatin structure: its repetitive character may generate a specifically ordered nucleosomal arrangement and thereby facilitate kinetochore ..
  52. Macas J, Navrátilová A, Koblizkova A. Sequence homogenization and chromosomal localization of VicTR-B satellites differ between closely related Vicia species. Chromosoma. 2006;115:437-47 pubmed
    ..sativa. The other two V. grandiflora subfamilies showing a considerable divergence from V. sativa sequences were found to be accumulated at subtelomeric regions of V. grandiflora chromosomes...
  53. Spence J, Fournier R, Oshimura M, Regnier V, Farr C. Topoisomerase II cleavage activity within the human D11Z1 and DXZ1 alpha-satellite arrays. Chromosome Res. 2005;13:637-48 pubmed
    ..Intriguingly, evidence has recently been presented for Topo II cleavage activity within the centromeric alpha-satellite DNA arrays of the human X and Y chromosomes...