Send to

Choose Destination
Elife. 2014 Aug 12;3:e03254. doi: 10.7554/eLife.03254.

A long non-coding RNA is required for targeting centromeric protein A to the human centromere.

Author information

Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression, Center for Cancer Research,National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, United States.


The centromere is a specialized chromatin region marked by the histone H3 variant CENP-A. Although active centromeric transcription has been documented for over a decade, the role of centromeric transcription or transcripts has been elusive. Here, we report that centromeric α-satellite transcription is dependent on RNA Polymerase II and occurs at late mitosis into early G1, concurrent with the timing of new CENP-A assembly. Inhibition of RNA Polymerase II-dependent transcription abrogates the recruitment of CENP-A and its chaperone HJURP to native human centromeres. Biochemical characterization of CENP-A associated RNAs reveals a 1.3 kb molecule that originates from centromeres, which physically interacts with the soluble pre-assembly HJURP/CENP-A complex in vivo, and whose down-regulation leads to the loss of CENP-A and HJURP at centromeres. This study describes a novel function for human centromeric long non-coding RNAs in the recruitment of HJURP and CENP-A, implicating RNA-based chaperone targeting in histone variant assembly.


CENP-A; centromeres; chromatin; epigenetics; histone variants; lncRNA

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication type, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication type

MeSH terms


Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for eLife Sciences Publications, Ltd Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center