Accurate chromosome segregation is essential for cell proliferation. The centromere is a specialized chromosomal locus, on which the kinetochore structure is formed. The centromere/kinetochore is required for the equal separation of sister chromatids to daughter cells. Here, we review recent findings on centromere-specific chromatin, including its constitutive protein components, its de novo formation and maintenance mechanisms, and our progress in analyses with synthetic human artificial chromosomes (HACs).
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