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Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Mar;31(5):1030-40. doi: 10.1128/MCB.01191-10. Epub 2010 Dec 20.

Cse4 (CenH3) association with the Saccharomyces cerevisiae plasmid partitioning locus in its native and chromosomally integrated states: implications in centromere evolution.

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  • 1Section of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.


The histone H3 variant Cse4 specifies centromere identity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by its incorporation into a special nucleosome positioned at CEN DNA and promotes the assembly of the kinetochore complex, which is required for faithful chromosome segregation. Our previous work showed that Cse4 is also associated with the partitioning locus STB of the 2μm circle--a multicopy plasmid that resides in the yeast nucleus and propagates itself stably. Cse4 is essential for the functional assembly of the plasmid partitioning complex, including the recruitment of the yeast cohesin complex at STB. We have located Cse4 association strictly at the origin-proximal subregion of STB. Three of the five directly repeated tandem copies of a 62-bp consensus sequence element constituting this region are necessary and sufficient for the recruitment of Cse4. The association of Cse4 with STB is dependent on Scm3, the loading factor responsible for the incorporation of Cse4 into the CEN nucleosome. A chromosomally integrated copy of STB confers on the integration site the capacity for Cse4 association as well as cohesin assembly. The localization of Cse4 in chromatin digested by micrococcal nuclease is consistent with the potential assembly of one Cse4-containing nucleosome, but not more than two, at STB. The remarkable ability of STB to acquire a very specialized, and strictly regulated, chromosome segregation factor suggests its plausible evolutionary kinship with CEN.

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