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Trends Cell Biol. 2013 Jun;23(6):260-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2013.01.010. Epub 2013 Mar 5.

Family matters: structural and functional conservation of centromere-associated proteins from yeast to humans.

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Research Institute of Molecular Pathology-IMP, Dr. Bohr Gasse 7, 1030 Vienna, Austria.


Kinetochores form the fundamental link between chromosomal domains termed centromeres and spindle microtubules in all eukaryotes. This connection, provided by a large, multiprotein complex, is essential for precise chromosome segregation and thus ensures genetic stability. Here, we review recent insights into the composition and function of centromeric chromatin. Multiple approaches have converged to identify centromere-associated proteins from yeast to humans. Among them are newly characterized histone-fold family members that operate at the DNA-kinetochore interface and provide critical connections between chromosomes and microtubules. Together, these findings contribute to a unified view of how centromeric chromatin functions as a regulated scaffold for kinetochore assembly.

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