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Dev Cell. 2002 Mar;2(3):319-30.

Conserved organization of centromeric chromatin in flies and humans.

Author information

1
Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.

Abstract

Recent studies have highlighted the importance of centromere-specific histone H3-like (CENP-A) proteins in centromere function. We show that Drosophila CID and human CENP-A appear at metaphase as a three-dimensional structure that lacks histone H3. However, blocks of CID/CENP-A and H3 nucleosomes are linearly interspersed on extended chromatin fibers, and CID is close to H3 nucleosomes in polynucleosomal preparations. When CID is depleted by RNAi, it is replaced by H3, demonstrating flexibility of centromeric chromatin organization. Finally, contrary to models proposing that H3 and CID/CENP-A nucleosomes are replicated at different times in S phase, we show that interspersed H3 and CID/CENP-A chromatin are replicated concurrently during S phase in humans and flies. We propose that the unique structural arrangement of CID/CENP-A and H3 nucleosomes presents centromeric chromatin to the poleward face of the condensing mitotic chromosome.

PMID:
11879637
PMCID:
PMC3192492
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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