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Cell Cycle. 2004 Apr;3(4):416-8. Epub 2004 Apr 1.

S phase assembly of centromeric heterochromatin and cohesion.

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  • 1Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, The Salk Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Accurate chromosome segregation in mitosis requires cohesion between sister centromeres mediated by heterochromatin. Although establishment of both silent heterochromatin and cohesion require passage through S phase, the mechanism was previously unknown. In our recent paper, we demonstrate that heterochromatin silencing and cohesion at the centromere rely on temporal activation of the conserved S phase protein kinase Hsk1-Dfp1. Hsk1-Dfp1 is needed for heterochromatin assembly downstream of Swi6 binding to chromatin; importantly, this activity is independent of the replication function of Hsk1-Dfp1. This defines a temporal connection between S phase, heterochromatin and cohesion that is independent of replication fork passage.

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