Posttranslational mechanisms controlling centromere function and assembly

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2018 Jun:52:126-135. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2018 Apr 2.


Accurate chromosome segregation is critical to ensure the faithful inheritance of the genome during cell division. Human chromosomes distinguish the location of the centromere from general chromatin by the selective assembly of CENP-A containing nucleosomes at the active centromere. The location of centromeres in most higher eukaryotes is determined epigenetically, independent of DNA sequence. CENP-A containing centromeric chromatin provides the foundation for assembly of the kinetochore that mediates chromosome attachment to the microtubule spindle and controls cell cycle progression in mitosis. Here we review recent work demonstrating the role of posttranslational modifications on centromere function and CENP-A inheritance via the direct modification of the CENP-A nucleosome and pre-nucleosomal complexes, the modification of the CENP-A deposition machinery and the modification of histones within existing centromeres.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mitosis / genetics*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / genetics*