Special Reports

Evolutionary Formation of New Centromeres in Macaque

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Science  13 Apr 2007:
Vol. 316, Issue 5822, pp. 243-246
DOI: 10.1126/science.1140615


A systematic fluorescence in situ hybridization comparison of macaque and human synteny organization disclosed five additional macaque evolutionary new centromeres (ENCs) for a total of nine ENCs. To understand the dynamics of ENC formation and progression, we compared the ENC of macaque chromosome 4 with the human orthologous region, at 6q24.3, that conserves the ancestral genomic organization. A 250-kilobase segment was extensively duplicated around the macaque centromere. These duplications were strictly intrachromosomal. Our results suggest that novel centromeres may trigger only local duplication activity and that the absence of genes in the seeding region may have been important in ENC maintenance and progression.

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