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EMBO J. 2000 Apr 3;19(7):1598-612.

Histone H2A is required for normal centromere function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, 200 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Histones are structural and functional components of the eukaryotic chromosome, and their function is essential for normal cell cycle progression. In this work, we describe the characterization of two Saccharomyces cerevisiae cold-sensitive histone H2A mutants. Both mutants contain single amino acid replacements of residues predicted to be on the surface of the nucleosome and in close contact with DNA. We show that these H2A mutations cause an increase-in-ploidy phenotype, an increased rate of chromosome loss, and a defect in traversing the G(2)-M phase of the cell cycle. Moreover, these H2A mutations show genetic interactions with mutations in genes encoding kinetochore components. Finally, chromatin analysis of these H2A mutants has revealed an altered centromeric chromatin structure. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that histone H2A is required for proper centromere-kinetochore function during chromosome segregation.

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