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New Biol. 1990 Jan;2(1):10-9.

Centromere structure and function in budding and fission yeasts.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara 93106.

Erratum in

  • New Biol 1990 Mar;2(3):preceding 207.


Functional centromeric DNAs have now been isolated and characterized from both budding (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and fission (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) yeasts. Artificial chromosomes containing these centromere DNA sequences segregate faithfully in both mitotic and meiotic cell divisions, but only in the parent organism. Structure-function analyses have revealed surprising fundamental differences between these two centromere classes. In the budding yeast centromeres, a 125-bp consensus DNA sequence contains all the information needed in cis to provide proper chromosome segregation. In contrast, the fission yeast centromeres each contain a long run (40 to 100 kb) of untranscribed repetitive DNA sequences arranged into a large inverted repeat, most of which is required for full centromere function. The fission yeast centromere-kinetochore appears to be a highly relevant experimental model for analysis of the mechanism of chromosome segregation in higher eukaryotes, in which the centromere regions often contain megabases of transcriptionally silent repetitive DNA sequences of unknown function.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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