Keeping the Centromere under Control: A Promising Role for DNA Methylation

Cells. 2019 Aug 16;8(8):912. doi: 10.3390/cells8080912.


In order to maintain cell and organism homeostasis, the genetic material has to be faithfully and equally inherited through cell divisions while preserving its integrity. Centromeres play an essential task in this process; they are special sites on chromosomes where kinetochores form on repetitive DNA sequences to enable accurate chromosome segregation. Recent evidence suggests that centromeric DNA sequences, and epigenetic regulation of centromeres, have important roles in centromere physiology. In particular, DNA methylation is abundant at the centromere, and aberrant DNA methylation, observed in certain tumors, has been correlated to aneuploidy and genomic instability. In this review, we evaluate past and current insights on the relationship between centromere function and the DNA methylation pattern of its underlying sequences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Centromere / metabolism*
  • Chromosome Segregation
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • DNA Methylation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Genomic Instability
  • Humans
  • Plants / genetics
  • Yeasts / genetics


  • DNA