Current Genetics

, Volume 65, Issue 5, pp 1165–1171 | Cite as

Centromeric non-coding RNA as a hidden epigenetic factor of the point centromere

  • Yick Hin Ling
  • Karen Wing Yee YuenEmail author


To ensure proper chromosome segregation during cell division, the centromere in many organisms is transcribed to produce a low level of long non-coding RNA to regulate the activity of the kinetochore. In the budding yeast point centromere, our recent work has shown that the level of centromeric RNAs (cenRNAs) is tightly regulated and repressed by the kinetochore protein Cbf1 and histone H2A variant H2A.ZHtz1, and de-repressed during S phase of the cell cycle. Too little or too much cenRNAs will disrupt centromere activity. Here, we discuss the current advance in the understanding of the action and regulation of cenRNAs at the point centromere of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We further show that budding yeast cenRNAs are cryptic unstable transcripts (CUTs) that can be degraded by the nuclear RNA decay pathway. CenRNA provides an example that even CUTs, when present at the right time with the right level, can serve important cellular functions.


Centromeric transcription Long non-coding RNA Centromere-binding factor Cbf1 Histone H2A variant Htz1 Centromeric histone variant CENP-A Chromosome instability 



This research was funded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council General Research Fund (Project Number: 17113418) and Collaborative Research Fund (Project Number: C7058-18GF), and the University of Hong Kong Seed Funds for Basic Research (Project Numbers: 201311159169 and 201509159021).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesKadoorie Biological Sciences Building, The University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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