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Eur J Biochem. 2002 May;269(9):2300-14.

Beyond the ABCs of CKC and SCC. Do centromeres orchestrate sister chromatid cohesion or vice versa?

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Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Laboratory of Mechanism and Regulation of Mitosis, New York, NY 10021, USA.


The centromere-kinetochore complex is a highly specialized chromatin domain that both mediates and monitors chromosome-spindle interactions responsible for accurate partitioning of sister chromatids to daughter cells. Centromeres are distinguished from adjacent chromatin by specific patterns of histone modification and the presence of a centromere-specific histone H3 variant (e.g. CENP-A). Centromere-proximal regions usually correspond to sites of avid and persistent sister chromatid cohesion mediated by the conserved cohesin complex. In budding yeast, there is a substantial body of evidence indicating centromeres direct formation and/or stabilization of centromere-proximal cohesion. In other organisms, the dependency of cohesion on centromere function is not as clear. Indeed, it appears that pericentromeric heterochromatin recruits cohesion proteins independent of centromere function. Nonetheless, aspects of centromere function are impaired in the absence of sister chromatid cohesion, suggesting the two are interdependent. Here we review the nature of centromeric chromatin, the dynamics and regulation of sister chromatid cohesion, and the relationship between the two.

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