Chromosomes

Chromosomes are cellular structures that contain the genetic material. A chromosome is comprised of a single DNA molecule that may be either circular or linear. The full complement of a cell’s chromosomes is called the genome.

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  • News and Views |

    Centromere identity must be maintained through multiple generations. A new study reveals a Constitutive Centromere-Associated Network (CCAN)-dependent retention of CENP-A, a key epigenetic mark for centromeres, in centromeres during DNA replication and a replication-dependent error correction to eliminate ectopic CENP-A in chromosome arms.

    • Masatoshi Hara
    •  & Tatsuo Fukagawa
    Nature Cell Biology 21, 669-671
  • News and Views |

    Intertwining of DNA molecules frequently results in the formation of ‘ultrafine bridges’ between sister chromatids that need to be resolved during segregation of the chromatids into daughter cells. Although it has been established that these DNA bridges are coated by the helicase PICH, it has remained unknown how PICH assists in their resolution. A study now reveals that PICH directs the formation of positive DNA supercoiling in the presence of type I topoisomerases to promote the subsequent disentanglement of these DNA helices by type II topoisomerases. Remarkably, PICH might be able to reconfigure DNA topology by extruding loops of DNA while it moves along the double helix.

    • Shveta Bisht
    •  & Christian H. Haering