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Heterochromatin boundaries are hotspots for de novo kinetochore formation

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van Essen,  Dominic
Department of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Manke,  Thomas
Department of Epigenetics, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Saccani,  Simona
Department of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Heun,  Patrick
Department of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Olszak, A. M., van Essen, D., Pereira, A., Diehl, S., Manke, T., Maiato, H., et al. (2011). Heterochromatin boundaries are hotspots for de novo kinetochore formation. Nature Cell Biology, 13, 799-808.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-8E24-6
Abstract
The centromere-specific histone H3 variant CENH3 (also known as CENP-A) is considered to be an epigenetic mark for establishment and propagation of centromere identity. Pulse induction of CENH3 (Drosophila CID) in Schneider S2 cells leads to its incorporation into non-centromeric regions and generates CID islands that resist clearing from chromosome arms for multiple cell generations. We demonstrate that CID islands represent functional ectopic kinetochores, which are non-randomly distributed on the chromosome and show a preferential localization near telomeres and pericentric heterochromatin in transcriptionally silent, intergenic chromatin domains. Although overexpression of heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) or increasing histone acetylation interferes with CID island formation on a global scale, induction of a locally defined region of synthetic heterochromatin by targeting HP1-LacI fusions to stably integrated Lac operator arrays produces a proximal hotspot for CID deposition. These data indicate that the characteristics of regions bordering heterochromatin promote de novo kinetochore assembly and thereby contribute to centromere identity.