Chromosome 1 is thought to represent about 6% of the total human genome and the 85 loci so far identified may constitute about 1% of the genes present on this chromosome. The existence of at least 22 loci sufficiently polymorphic in Europeans to be useful as genetic markers has allowed the construction of an elementary genetic map. This permits comparisons with physical and chiasma maps and has demonstrated striking homologies between different regions of chromosome 1 and mouse chromosomes 1, 3, and 4. The existence of a map should be of great help in developing a more systematic approach to further mapping studies. A wide range of disease can be attributed to allelic variation on chromosome 1 and the homologies with the mouse may be useful in predicting the position of other genes involved in human disease. Rearrangements of this chromosome are a common finding in many different types of malignancy. Loss of material from the short arm and activation of one or more of the four oncogenes in this region may play an important role in the later stages of tumour development. Polymorphic markers of all kinds will be useful in the future for investigating the somatic events which have occurred during the malignant process.
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