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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Aug 3;101(31):11374-9. Epub 2004 Jul 22.

Centromeric DNA sequences in the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans are all different and unique.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA.


In an approach to clone and characterize centromeric DNA sequences of Candida albicans by chromatin immunoprecipitation, we have used antibodies directed against an evolutionarily conserved histone H3-like protein, CaCse4p (CENP-A homolog). Sequence analysis of clones obtained by this procedure reveals that only eight relatively small regions (approximately 3 kb each) of the Can. albicans genome are selectively enriched. These CaCse4-bound sequences are located within 4- to 18-kb regions lacking ORFs and occur once in each of the eight chromosomes of Can. albicans. Binding of another evolutionarily conserved kinetochore protein, CaMif2p (CENP-C homolog), colocalizes with CaCse4p. Deletion of the CaCse4p-binding region of chromosome 7 results in a high rate of loss of the altered chromosome, confirming that CaCse4p, a centromeric histone in the CENP-A family, indeed identifies the functional centromeric DNA of Can. albicans. The CaCse4p-rich regions not only lack conserved DNA motifs of point (<400 bp) centromeres and repeated elements of regional (>40 kb) centromeres, but also each chromosome of Can. albicans contains a different and unique CaCse4p-rich centromeric DNA sequence, a centromeric property previously unobserved in other organisms.

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