Polymorphic human specific Alu insertions as markers for human identification

Document Type


Publication Date



Alu sequences represent the largest family of short interspersed repetitive elements (SINEs) in humans with 500 000 copies per genome. Recently, one Alu subfamily was found to be human specific (HS). We originally described the use of polymorphic HS Alu insertions as a tool in population studies and recently as tools in DNA fingerprinting and forensic analysis. In this report, we will use this simple polymerase chain reaction (PCR) base technique for the detection of HS Alu insertion polymorphisms. We will test the resolving power of this DNA profiling approach in both population genetics and paternity assessment. At the population level, we will describe the genotypic distribution of five polymorphic Alu insertions among 3 populations from the American continent, one of African origin, the other two Amerindians. Insight into their relationships will be provided. At the family level, we will examine one European American family of seven individuals and the same pedigree will also be characterized by way of the two systems currently and widely used to ascertain paternity: PCR‐sequence specific oligonucleotide probe hybridization (PCR‐SSO) and PCR‐restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR‐RFLP) of human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class II molecules, and a standard RFLP protocol used in forensic casework and paternity studies. The importance and strengths of the method as well as its perspectives for future use in filiation studies will be evaluated. Copyright © 1995 VCH Verlagsgesellschaft mbH

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)


First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.