Putting CENP-A in its place

Madison E. Stellfox, Aaron O. Bailey, Daniel R. Foltz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The centromere is the chromosomal region that directs kinetochore assembly during mitosis in order to facilitate the faithful segregation of sister chromatids. The location of the human centromere is epigenetically specified. The presence of nucleosomes that contain the histone H3 variant, CENP-A, are thought to be the epigenetic mark that indicates active centromeres. Maintenance of centromeric identity requires the deposition of new CENP-A nucleosomes with each cell cycle. During S-phase, existing CENP-A nucleosomes are divided among the daughter chromosomes, while new CENP-A nucleosomes are deposited during early G1. The specific assembly of CENP-A nucleosomes at centromeres requires the Mis18 complex, which recruits the CENP-A assembly factor, HJURP. We will review the unique features of centromeric chromatin as well as the mechanism of CENP-A nucleosome deposition. We will also highlight a few recent discoveries that begin to elucidate the factors that temporally and spatially control CENP-A deposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-406
Number of pages20
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • CENP-A
  • Centromere
  • Chromatin
  • Chromosome
  • Epigenetics
  • Nucleosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Putting CENP-A in its place'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this