Four experiments evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of molecular techniques to detect human Y chromosome deoxyribonucleic acid. In experiment I, electrophoretic separation of normal male deoxyribonucleic acid fragments after digestion with endonuclease Hae III revealed two male-specific bands of 3.4 and 2.1 kilobase (kb). These bands were not visible if the fraction of male deoxyribonucleic acid in mixed samples was less than 0.3. In experiment II, by means of a repetitive copy Y deoxyribonucleic acid probe (pS4) mapped to Yq12, a male-specific 2.3 kb band was detectable in mixtures of 2.5 ng of male deoxyribonucleic acid and 997.5 ng of 45,X female deoxyribonucleic acid. In experiment III, hybridization with the pS4 probe was performed on the deoxyribonucleic acid of 20 subjects with a normal or a variant Y chromosome. In experiment IV, deoxyribonucleic acid from the same subjects was hybridized to a single copy probe (4B-2) mapped to the Yq11 region. Deoxyribonucleic acid from category A subjects (n = 8) with cytologically normal Y chromosomes hybridized to both deoxyribonucleic acid probes. Deoxyribonucleic acid from category B subjects (n = 2), including a variant Y chromosome that was negative for Q-banding but positive for C-bands, hybridized with the distal pS4 and proximal 4B-2 probes. Deoxyribonucleic acid from category C subjects (n = 10) with variant Y chromosomes uniformly negative for Q- and C-bands, did not hybridize with the pS4 probe. Deoxyribonucleic acid from three of the 10 category C subjects did hybridize to the more proximal sequence-detecting 4B-2 probe. Deoxyribonucleic acid from the remaining seven subjects in category C did not hybridize with either of the deoxyribonucleic acid probes.
- Normal/variant Y chromosomes
- deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) probes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology