Loss of Dicer fowls up centromeres

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Centromeres, specialized regions on chromosomes, are essential for accurate chromosome segregation during cell division. In fission yeast, the RNA interference machinery has a pivotal function in the assembly of centromeric heterochromatin, which mediates sister centromere cohesion. Studies in vertebrate cells now suggest that many aspects of this process are conserved.

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Figure 1: A model for RNAi-mediated heterochromatin assembly in vertebrates.

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White, S., Allshire, R. Loss of Dicer fowls up centromeres. Nat Cell Biol 6, 696–697 (2004) doi:10.1038/ncb0804-696

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