A novel epigenetic effect can alter centromere function in fission yeast

Cell. 1994 Dec 2;79(5):865-74. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(94)90075-2.


A novel epigenetic mechanism that can affect minichromosome centromere function in vivo has been identified in S. pombe. This epigenetic system can result in the conversion of a nonfunctional centromere to a functional one without changes in the content, structural arrangement, or chemical modification state of the minichromosomal DNA. The conversion from a centromere-inactive to an active state, which is evident with minichromosomes carrying abbreviated centromeric DNA constructions, occurs with a relatively high frequency during mitotic cell divisions and readily provides an in vivo assay for proper centromere formation. The centromere-targeted epigenetic system supports a model for centromere function that involves specific de novo folding of centromeric components into a higher order chromatin structure.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Centromere / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Fungal / genetics*
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Meiosis / genetics
  • Mitosis / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Plasmids / genetics*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*
  • Transformation, Genetic


  • DNA, Fungal