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Mol Biol Cell. 1994 Jul;5(7):747-61.

The centromeric K-type repeat and the central core are together sufficient to establish a functional Schizosaccharomyces pombe centromere.

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


The DNA requirements for centromere function in fission yeast have been investigated using a minichromosome assay system. Critical elements of Schizosaccharomyces pombe centromeric DNA are portions of the centromeric central core and sequences within a 2.1-kilobase segment found on all three chromosomes as part of the K-type (K/K"/dg) centromeric repeat. The S. pombe centromeric central core contains DNA sequences that appear functionally redundant, and the inverted repeat motif that flanks the central core in all native fission yeast centromeres is not essential for centromere function in circular minichromosomes. Tandem copies of centromeric repeat K", in conjunction with the central core, exert an additive effect on centromere function, increasing minichromosome mitotic stability with each additional copy. Centromeric repeats B and L, however, and parts of the central core and its core-associated repeat are dispensable and cannot substitute for K-type sequences. Several specific protein binding sites have been identified within the centromeric K-type repeat, consistent with a recently proposed model for centromere/kinetochore function in S. pombe.

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