At the right place at the right time: novel CENP-A binding proteins shed light on centromere assembly
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Centromeres, the chromosomal loci that form the sites of attachment for spindle microtubules during mitosis, are identified by a unique chromatin structure generated by nucleosomes containing the histone H3 variant CENP-A. The apparent epigenetic mode of centromere inheritance across mitotic and meiotic divisions has generated much interest in how CENP-A assembly occurs and how structurally divergent centromeric nucleosomes can specify the centromere complex. Although a substantial number of proteins have been implicated in centromere assembly, factors that can bind CENP-A specifically and deliver nascent protein to the centromere were, thus far, lacking. Several recent reports on experiments in fission yeast and human cells have now shown significant progress on this problem. Here, we discuss these new developments and their implications for epigenetic centromere inheritance.
KeywordsFission Yeast Histone Chaperone Mitotic Exit Centromeric Chromatin Centromere Assembly
We thank Dan Foltz and Ben Black for suggestions and discussion and Iain Cheeseman for the LAP-hMis18α construct. We are indebted to Don Cleveland in whose laboratory the LAP-hMis18α/CENP-A-SNAP double tagged line was built. MCCS is supported by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) (SFRH/BD/33219/2007). LETJ is supported by FCT, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, the EU Seventh Framework Program (FP7) and by an EMBO installation grant.
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