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Dev Cell. 2014 Sep 8;30(5):496-508. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2014.08.016.

The centromere: chromatin foundation for the kinetochore machinery.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Genetics, National Institute of Genetics and Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Mishima, Shizuoka 411-8540, Japan. Electronic address: tfukagaw@lab.nig.ac.jp.
2
Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings, Mayfield Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3JR, UK. Electronic address: bill.earnshaw@ed.ac.uk.

Abstract

Since discovery of the centromere-specific histone H3 variant CENP-A, centromeres have come to be defined as chromatin structures that establish the assembly site for the complex kinetochore machinery. In most organisms, centromere activity is defined epigenetically, rather than by specific DNA sequences. In this review, we describe selected classic work and recent progress in studies of centromeric chromatin with a focus on vertebrates. We consider possible roles for repetitive DNA sequences found at most centromeres, chromatin factors and modifications that assemble and activate CENP-A chromatin for kinetochore assembly, plus the use of artificial chromosomes and kinetochores to study centromere function.

PMID:
25203206
PMCID:
PMC4160344
DOI:
10.1016/j.devcel.2014.08.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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