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Nat Cell Biol. 2006 May;8(5):446-57. Epub 2006 Apr 16.

The CENP-H-I complex is required for the efficient incorporation of newly synthesized CENP-A into centromeres.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, National Institute of Genetics and The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Mishima, Shizuoka 411-8540, Japan.


In vertebrates, centromeres lack defined sequences and are thought to be propagated by epigenetic mechanisms involving the incorporation of specialized nucleosomes containing the histone H3 variant centromere protein (CENP)-A. However, the precise mechanisms that target CENP-A to centromeres remain poorly understood. Here, we isolated a multi-subunit complex, which includes the established inner kinetochore components CENP-H and CENP-I, and nine other proteins, from both human and chicken cells. Our analysis of these proteins demonstrates that the CENP-H-I complex can be divided into three functional sub-complexes, each of which is required for faithful chromosome segregation. Interestingly, newly expressed CENP-A is not efficiently incorporated into centromeres in knockout mutants of a subclass of CENP-H-I complex proteins, indicating that the CENP-H-I complex may function, in part, as a marker directing CENP-A deposition to centromeres.

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