Structural and functional dynamics of human centromeric chromatin.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Centromeres are the elements of chromosomes that assemble the proteinaceous kinetochore, maintain sister chromatid cohesion, regulate chromosome attachment to the spindle, and direct chromosome movement during cell division. Although the functions of centromeres and the proteins that contribute to their complex structure and function are conserved in eukaryotes, centromeric DNA diverges rapidly. Human centromeres are particularly complicated. Here, we review studies on the organization of homogeneous arrays of chromosome-specific alpha-satellite repeats and evolutionary links among eukaryotic centromeric sequences. We also discuss epigenetic mechanisms of centromere identity that confer structural and functional features of the centromere through DNA-protein interactions and post-translational modifications, producing centromere-specific chromatin signatures. The assembly and organization of human centromeres, the contributions of satellite DNA to centromere identity and diversity, and the mechanism whereby centromeres are distinguished from the rest of the genome reflect ongoing puzzles in chromosome biology.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Schueler, MG; Sullivan, BA

Published Date

  • 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 7 /

Start / End Page

  • 301 - 313

PubMed ID

  • 16756479

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1527-8204

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1146/annurev.genom.7.080505.115613


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States