Direct binding of Cenp-C to the Mis12 complex joins the inner and outer kinetochore.

Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.
Current biology: CB (Impact Factor: 10.99). 02/2011; 21(5):391-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.12.039
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Kinetochores are proteinaceous scaffolds implicated in the formation of load-bearing attachments of chromosomes to microtubules during mitosis. Kinetochores contain distinct chromatin- and microtubule-binding interfaces, generally defined as the inner and outer kinetochore, respectively (reviewed in). The constitutive centromere-associated network (CCAN) and the Knl1-Mis12-Ndc80 complexes (KMN) network are the main multisubunit protein assemblies in the inner and outer kinetochore, respectively. The point of contact between the CCAN and the KMN network is unknown. Cenp-C is a conserved CCAN component whose central and C-terminal regions have been implicated in chromatin binding and dimerization. Here, we show that a conserved motif in the N-terminal region of Cenp-C binds directly and with high affinity to the Mis12 complex. Expression in HeLa cells of the isolated N-terminal motif of Cenp-C prevents outer kinetochore assembly, causing chromosome missegregation. The KMN network is also responsible for kinetochore recruitment of the components of the spindle assembly checkpoint, and we observe checkpoint impairment in cells expressing the Cenp-C N-terminal segment. Our studies unveil a crucial and likely universal link between the inner and outer kinetochore.

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    ABSTRACT: The kinetochore proteins assemble onto centromeric chromatin and regulate DNA segregation during cell division. The inner kinetochore proteins bind centromeres while most outer kinetochore proteins assemble at centromeres during mitosis, connecting the complex to microtubules. The centromere-kinetochore complex contains specific nucleosomes and nucleosomal particles. CENP-A replaces canonical H3 in centromeric nucleosomes, defining centromeric chromatin. Next to CENP-A, the CCAN multi-protein complex settles which contains CENP-T/W/S/X. These four proteins are described to form a nucleosomal particle at centromeres. We had found the CENP-T C-terminus and the CENP-S termini next to histone H3.1 but not to CENP-A, suggesting that the Constitutive Centromere-Associated Network (CCAN) bridges a CENP-A- and a H3-containing nucleosome. Here, we show by in vivo FRET that this proximity between CENP-T and H3 is specific for H3.1 but neither for the H3.1 mutants H3.1C96A and H3.1C110A nor for H3.2 or H3.3. We also found CENP-M next to H3.1 but not to these H3.1 mutants. Consistently, we detected CENP-M next to CENP-S. These data elucidate the local molecular neighborhood of CCAN proteins next to a H3.1-containing centromeric nucleosome. They also indicate an exclusive position of H3.1 clearly distinct from H3.2, thus documenting a local, and potentially also functional, difference between H3.1 and H3.2.
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences 03/2015; 16(3):5839-5863. DOI:10.3390/ijms16035839 · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The centromere is a specialized chromosomal locus required for accurate chromosome segregation. A specific histone H3 variant, CENP-A, assembles at centromeres. CENP-A is required for kinetochore protein assembly and is an epigenetic marker for the maintenance of a functional centromere. Human CENP-A chromatin normally assembles on α-satellite DNA (alphoid DNA), a centromeric repetitive sequence. Using alphoid DNA arrays, human artificial chromosomes (HACs) have been constructed in human HT1080 cells and used to dissect the requirements for CENP-A assembly on DNA sequence. However, centromere formation is not a simple genetic event. In other commonly used human cell lines, such as HeLa and U2OS cells, no functional de novo centromere formation occurs efficiently with the same centromeric alphoid DNA sequences. Recent studies using protein tethering combined with the HAC system and/or genetic manipulation have revealed that epigenetic chromatin regulation mechanisms are also involved in the CENP-A chromatin assembly pathway and subsequent centromere/kinetochore formation. We summarize the DNA sequence requirements for CENP-A assembly and discuss the epigenetic regulation of human centromeres.
    Chromosome Research 02/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10577-015-9470-z · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background The histone H3 variant CENP-A is normally tightly regulated to ensure only one centromere exists per chromosome. Native CENP-A is often found overexpressed in human cancer cells and a range of human tumors. Consequently, CENP-A misregulation is thought to contribute to genome instability in human cancers. However, the consequences of such overexpression have not been directly elucidated in human cancer cells. Results To investigate native CENP-A overexpression, we sought to uncover CENP-A-associated defects in human cells. We confirm that CENP-A is innately overexpressed in several colorectal cancer cell lines. In such cells, we report that a subset of structurally distinct CENP-A-containing nucleosomes associate with canonical histone H3, and with the transcription-coupled chaperones ATRX and DAXX. Furthermore, such hybrid CENP-A nucleosomes localize to DNase I hypersensitive and transcription factor binding sites, including at promoters of genes across the human genome. A distinct class of CENP-A hotspots also accumulates at subtelomeric chromosomal locations, including at the 8q24/Myc region long-associated with genomic instability. We show this 8q24 accumulation of CENP-A can also be seen in early stage primary colorectal tumors. Conclusions Our data demonstrate that excess CENP-A accumulates at noncentromeric locations in the human cancer genome. These findings suggest that ectopic CENP-A nucleosomes could alter the state of the chromatin fiber, potentially impacting gene regulation and chromosome fragility.
    Epigenetics & Chromatin 01/2015; 8(2). DOI:10.1186/1756-8935-8-2 · 4.46 Impact Factor

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