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Plant Cell. 2002 Nov;14(11):2825-36.

Centromeric retroelements and satellites interact with maize kinetochore protein CENH3.

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  • 1Department of Plant Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA.


Maize centromeres are composed of CentC tandem repeat arrays, centromeric retrotransposons (CRs), and a variety of other repeats. One particularly well-conserved CR element, CRM, occurs primarily as complete and uninterrupted elements and is interspersed thoroughly with CentC at the light microscopic level. To determine if these major centromeric DNAs are part of the functional centromere/kinetochore complex, we generated antiserum to maize centromeric histone H3 (CENH3). CENH3, a highly conserved protein that replaces histone H3 in centromeres, is thought to recruit many of the proteins required for chromosome movement. CENH3 is present throughout the cell cycle and colocalizes with the kinetochore protein CENPC in meiotic cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrates that CentC and CRM interact specifically with CENH3, whereas knob repeats and Tekay retroelements do not. Approximately 38 and 33% of CentC and CRM are precipitated in the chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, consistent with data showing that much, but not all, of CENH3 colocalizes with CentC.

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