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The Centromere

  • Beth A. Sullivan
Chapter

Abstract

Centromeres are chromosomal loci that assemble the proteinaceous kinetochore, maintain sister chromatid cohesion, regulate chromosome attachment to the spindle, and direct chromosome movement during cell division. Although the function of centromeres and proteins that contribute to their complex structure are conserved in eukaryotes, centromeric DNAs are strikingly divergent. In this chapter, I review centromere organization in a range of organisms, including unicellular eukaryotes, fruit flies, plants, and mammals. Sequence features and epigenetic mechanisms of centromere identity and regulation, including DNA–protein interactions, post-translational modifications, RNA, and protein dosage that influence centromere-specific chromatin architecture are discussed. Understanding the assembly and organization of centromeres and the contributions of sequence and epigenetic features in centromere identity and diversity remain important areas of study in chromosome biology.

Keywords

Fission Yeast Alpha Satellite Human Artificial Chromosome Centromeric Chromatin Kinetochore Assembly 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy and Department of Molecular Genetics and MicrobiologyDuke UniversityDurhamU.S.A

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