Esperanto for histones: CENP-A, not CenH3, is the centromeric histone H3 variant

W. C. Earnshaw*, R. C. Allshire, B. E. Black, K. Bloom, B. R. Brinkley, W. Brown, I. M. Cheeseman, K. H A Choo, G. P. Copenhaver, J. G. Deluca, A. Desai, S. Diekmann, S. Erhardt, M. Fitzgerald-Hayes, D. Foltz, T. Fukagawa, R. Gassmann, D. W. Gerlich, D. M. Glover, G. J. GorbskyS. C. Harrison, P. Heun, T. Hirota, L. E T Jansen, G. Karpen, G. J P L Kops, M. A. Lampson, S. M. Lens, A. Losada, K. Luger, H. Maiato, P. S. Maddox, R. L. Margolis, H. Masumoto, A. D. McAinsh, B. G. Mellone, P. Meraldi, A. Musacchio, K. Oegema, R. J. O'Neill, E. D. Salmon, K. C. Scott, A. F. Straight, P. T. Stukenberg, B. A. Sullivan, K. F. Sullivan, C. E. Sunkel, J. R. Swedlow, C. E. Walczak, P. E. Warburton, S. Westermann, H. F. Willard, L. Wordeman, M. Yanagida, T. J. Yen, K. Yoda, D. W. Cleveland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The first centromeric protein identified in any species was CENP-A, a divergent member of the histone H3 family that was recognised by autoantibodies from patients with scleroderma-spectrum disease. It has recently been suggested to rename this protein CenH3. Here, we argue that the original name should be maintained both because it is the basis of a long established nomenclature for centromere proteins and because it avoids confusion due to the presence of canonical histone H3 at centromeres.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-106
Number of pages6
JournalChromosome Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • CENP-A
  • CenH3
  • centromere
  • histone
  • kinetochore

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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