Centromeric chromatin defines the site of kinetochore formation and ensures faithful chromosome segregation. Centromeric identity is epigenetically specified by the incorporation of CENP-A nucleosomes. DNA replication presents a challenge for inheritance of centromeric identity because nucleosomes are removed to allow for replication fork progression. Despite this challenge, CENP-A nucleosomes are stably retained through S phase. We used BioID to identify proteins transiently associated with CENP-A during DNA replication. We found that during S phase, HJURP transiently associates with centromeres and binds to pre-existing CENP-A, suggesting a distinct role for HJURP in CENP-A retention. We demonstrate that HJURP is required for centromeric nucleosome inheritance during S phase. HJURP co-purifies with the MCM2-7 helicase complex and, together with the MCM2 subunit, binds CENP-A simultaneously. Therefore, pre-existing CENP-A nucleosomes require an S phase function of the HJURP chaperone and interaction with MCM2 to ensure faithful inheritance of centromere identity through DNA replication.
Keywords: DNA replication; centromere; chromatin; chromosome; epigenetics; helicase; mitosis; nucleosome.
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