Centromeres License the Mitotic Condensation of Yeast Chromosome Arms

Cell. 2018 Oct 18;175(3):780-795.e15. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.09.012. Epub 2018 Oct 11.


During mitosis, chromatin condensation shapes chromosomes as separate, rigid, and compact sister chromatids to facilitate their segregation. Here, we show that, unlike wild-type yeast chromosomes, non-chromosomal DNA circles and chromosomes lacking a centromere fail to condense during mitosis. The centromere promotes chromosome condensation strictly in cis through recruiting the kinases Aurora B and Bub1, which trigger the autonomous condensation of the entire chromosome. Shugoshin and the deacetylase Hst2 facilitated spreading the condensation signal to the chromosome arms. Targeting Aurora B to DNA circles or centromere-ablated chromosomes or releasing Shugoshin from PP2A-dependent inhibition bypassed the centromere requirement for condensation and enhanced the mitotic stability of DNA circles. Our data indicate that yeast cells license the chromosome-autonomous condensation of their chromatin in a centromere-dependent manner, excluding from this process non-centromeric DNA and thereby inhibiting their propagation.

Keywords: Aurora B; DNA circle; Shugoshin; centromere; chromatin; chromosome; chromosome condensation; foreign DNA; nucleosome deacetylation; nucleosomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aurora Kinase B / genetics
  • Aurora Kinase B / metabolism
  • Centromere / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Fungal / genetics*
  • Mitosis*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Phosphatase 2 / genetics
  • Protein Phosphatase 2 / metabolism
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Sirtuin 2 / genetics
  • Sirtuin 2 / metabolism


  • Bub1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Sgo1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Aurora Kinase B
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Protein Phosphatase 2
  • HST2 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Sirtuin 2