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Mol Cell. 2003 Aug;12(2):509-16.

Transcription within a functional human centromere.

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The Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Flemington Road, Melbourne, 3052, Australia.


Recent data in yeast and Drosophila suggest a domain-like centromere structure with a modified chromatin core and flanking regions of heterochromatin. We have analyzed a functional human centromere and defined a region of increased chromosome scaffold/matrix attachment that overlaps three other distinct and nonoverlapping domains for constitutive centromere proteins CENP-A and CENP-H, and heterochromatin protein HP1. Transcriptional competency is intact throughout the S/MAR-enriched region and within the CENP-A- and CENP-H-associated chromatin. These results provide insights into the relationship between centromeric chromatin and transcriptional competency in vivo, highlighting the permissibility of transcription within the constitutively modified, nonheterochromatic chromatin of a functional eukaryotic centromere.

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