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Annu Rev Genet. 2012;46:443-53. doi: 10.1146/annurev-genet-110711-155419. Epub 2012 Sep 4.

RNA as a structural and regulatory component of the centromere.

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Department of Plant Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA.


Despite many challenges, great progress has been made in identifying kinetochore proteins and understanding their overall functions relative to spindles and centromeric DNA. In contrast, less is known about the specialized centromeric chromatin environment and how it may be involved in regulating the assembly of kinetochore proteins. Multiple independent lines of evidence have implicated transcription and the resulting RNA as an important part of this process. Here, we summarize recent literature demonstrating the roles of centromeric RNA in regulating kinetochore assembly and maintenance. We also review literature suggesting that the process of centromeric transcription may be as important as the resulting RNA and that such transcription may be involved in recruiting the centromeric histone variant CENH3.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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