Special Reviews

The Centromere Paradox: Stable Inheritance with Rapidly Evolving DNA

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Science  10 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5532, pp. 1098-1102
DOI: 10.1126/science.1062939

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Abstract

Every eukaryotic chromosome has a centromere, the locus responsible for poleward movement at mitosis and meiosis. Although conventional loci are specified by their DNA sequences, current evidence favors a chromatin-based inheritance mechanism for centromeres. The chromosome segregation machinery is highly conserved across all eukaryotes, but the DNA and protein components specific to centromeric chromatin are evolving rapidly. Incompatibilities between rapidly evolving centromeric components may be responsible for both the organization of centromeric regions and the reproductive isolation of emerging species.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: steveh{at}fhcrc.org

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