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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.
The histone variant CENP-A marks active centromeres and replaces H3 at centromeres through a poorly understood mechanism. Here, the authors provide evidence that the chromatin remodeller Ino80 promotes CENP-A chromatin assembly at the centromere in fission yeast.
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.
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.