HJURP is a cell-cycle-dependent maintenance and deposition factor of CENP-A at centromeres

Cell. 2009 May 1;137(3):485-97. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.02.040.


The histone H3 variant CenH3, called CENP-A in humans, is central in centromeric chromatin to ensure proper chromosome segregation. In the absence of an underlying DNA sequence, it is still unclear how CENP-A deposition at centromeres is determined. Here, we purified non-nucleosomal CENP-A complexes to identify direct CENP-A partners involved in such a mechanism and identified HJURP. HJURP was not detected in H3.1- or H3.3-containing complexes, indicating its specificity for CENP-A. HJURP centromeric localization is cell cycle regulated, and its transient appearance at the centromere coincides precisely with the proposed time window for new CENP-A deposition. Furthermore, HJURP downregulation leads to a major reduction in CENP-A at centromeres and impairs deposition of newly synthesized CENP-A, causing mitotic defects. We conclude that HJURP is a key factor for CENP-A deposition and maintenance at centromeres.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autoantigens / genetics
  • Autoantigens / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Centromere / metabolism*
  • Centromere / ultrastructure
  • Centromere Protein A
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism*
  • Chromosome Segregation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Protein Binding


  • Autoantigens
  • CENPA protein, human
  • Centromere Protein A
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • HJURP protein, human
  • Histones