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Centromeres are regions of linear chromosomes at which the two chromatids are joined. They are the sites of attachment of the mitotic spindle, which is necessary for chromosome segregation during cell division.
Centromere maintenance depends on the persistence of the histone variant CENP-A at the centromeres. Here, the authors characterize the core centromeric nucleosome complex wherein CENP-C confers a stable CENP-A nucleosome conformation and CENP-N fastens CENP-A to the DNA.
Precise chromosome segregation during mitosis requires coordination of stable chromosome bi-orientation with anaphase onset, however the underlying mechanism is not clear. Here the authors show that inner centromere localization of the chromosomal passenger complex maintains centromeric cohesion on bi-oriented chromosomes and allows mitotic checkpoint silencing.
Centromeres are chromosomal domains epigenetically specified by the presence of the CENP-A containing nucleosomes that control chromosome segregation. Here the authors show that α-amino trimethylation of CENP-A by the enzyme NRMT is required for centromere function, faithful chromosome segregation and cell survival.
Uniparental disomy in fission yeast is triggered by aberrant expression of gametogenic genes in vegetative cells, and is associated with the activation of meiotic cohesin Rec8 in cells with defects in the RNA interference machinery.
Micronucleation of missegregated chromatin can lead to substantial chromosome rearrangements via chromothripsis. However, the molecular details of micronucleus-based chromothripsis are still unclear. Now, an elegant system that specifically induces missegregation of the Y chromosome provides insight into this process, including a role for non-homologous end joining.