The centromere protein B (CENP-B) is a centromeric DNA/binding protein. It recognizes a 17-bp sequence motif called the CENP-B box, which is found in the centromeric region of most chromosomes. It binds DNA through its amino terminus and dimerizes through its carboxy terminus. CENP-B protein has been proposed to perform a vital role in organizing chromatin structures at centromeres. However, other evidence does not agree with this view. For example, CENP-B is found at inactive centromeres on stable dicentric chromosomes, and also mitotically stable chromosomes lacking alpha-satellite DNA have been reported. To address the biological function of CENP-B, we generated mouse null mutants of CENP-B by homologous recombination. Mice lacking CENP-B were viable and fertile, indicating that mice without CENP-B undergo normal somatic and germline development. Thus, both mitosis and meiosis are able to proceed normally in the absence of CENP-B.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.