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Curr Biol. 2017 Aug 7;27(15):2365-2373.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.069. Epub 2017 Jul 27.

Expanded Satellite Repeats Amplify a Discrete CENP-A Nucleosome Assembly Site on Chromosomes that Drive in Female Meiosis.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
2
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
3
Division of Human Genetics, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center, 213 Research Drive, Box 3054, Durham, NC 27710, USA.
4
Department of Biology, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. Electronic address: lampson@sas.upenn.edu.
5
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. Electronic address: blackbe@mail.med.upenn.edu.

Abstract

Female meiosis provides an opportunity for selfish genetic elements to violate Mendel's law of segregation by increasing the chance of segregating to the egg [1]. Centromeres and other repetitive sequences can drive in meiosis by cheating the segregation process [2], but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Here, we show that centromeres with more satellite repeats house more nucleosomes that confer centromere identity, containing the histone H3 variant CENP-A, and bias their segregation to the egg relative to centromeres with fewer repeats. CENP-A nucleosomes predominantly occupy a single site within the repeating unit that becomes limiting for centromere assembly on smaller centromeres. We propose that amplified repetitive sequences act as selfish elements by promoting expansion of CENP-A chromatin and increased transmission through the female germline.

KEYWORDS:

CENP-A; centromere; chromosome; epigenetics; histone; meiosis; meiotic drive; nucleosome; oocyte; satellite DNA

PMID:
28756949
PMCID:
PMC5567862
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.069
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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