Integration of human alpha-satellite DNA into simian chromosomes: centromere protein binding and disruption of normal chromosome segregation.
Centromeres of mammalian and other complex eukaryotic chromosomes are dominated by one or more classes of satellite DNA. To test the hypothesis that alpha-satellite DNA, the major centromeric satellite of primate chromosomes, is involved in centromere structure and/or function, human alpha-satellite DNA was introduced into African green monkey (AGM) cells. Centromere protein binding was apparent at the sites of integrated human alpha-satellite DNA. In the presence of an AGM centromere on the same chromosome, human alpha-satellite was associated with bridges between the separating sets of chromatids at anaphase and an increased number of lagging chromosomes at metaphase, both features consistent with the integrated alpha-satellite disrupting normal chromosome segregation. These experiments suggest that alpha-satellite DNA provides the primary sequence information for centromere protein binding and for at least some functional aspect(s) of a mammalian centromere, playing a role either in kinetochore formation or in sister chromatid apposition.
Haaf, T; Warburton, PE; Willard, HF
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