Journal: Nature Communications
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A peek into centromere structure
A structural analysis has revealed how a protein critical for cell division ensures proper sorting of genetic material.
The CENP-A protein serves as a central hub in the formation of centromeres — structures that help link chromosome pairs during cell division. The protein is closely related to others involved in spooling DNA, but contains a unique region that must have methyl tags added for proper attachment of molecules involved in pulling paired chromosomes apart.
Researchers from Waseda University and elsewhere in Japan determined the crystal structure of part of the CENP-A protein. They found that what sets CENP-A apart from similar proteins is a short stretch that interacts with another centromere protein to facilitate methylation.
The findings offer new insights into how the genome, through epigenetic regulation, maintains its fidelity during cell division.
- Nature Communications 10, 576 (2019). doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-08314-x