We reported previously that DNA bend sites appear in the human β-globin locus at an average distance of 680 bp. The relative locations of the sites were conserved among the five active β-like globin genes and one pseudogene. Here, we mapped the sites in the β-like globin genes from various species and examined their conservation. The locations of the bend sites in the bovine, rabbit and chicken β-globin genes mapped here showed marked conservation in their locations relative to the cap site and showed similar locations to the previously mapped sites in the human β- and mouse βmaj-globin genes. Further analysis of the first bend sites from the cap site (B-1 sites) indicated that they contained tracts of adenines and thymines longer than or equal to two bases. This sequence feature contributed mostly to the curvature profiles revealed by gel assays and/or by computer-based TRIF analysis. TRIF analysis indicated that most of the B-1 sites showed right-handed superhelical twists accompanied by left handed twists. This was confirmed by the effect of ethidium bromide on the superhelical twists in the assays.
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