CENP-A is a centromere-specific histone H3 variant that is- essential for faithful chromosome segregation in all eukaryotes thus far investigated. We genetically identified two factors, Ams2 and Mis6, each of which is required for the correct centromere localization of SpCENP-A (Cnp1), the fission yeast homologue of CENP-A. Ams2 is a cell-cycle-regulated GATA factor that localizes on the nuclear chromatin, including on centromeres, during the S phase. Ams2 may be responsible for the replication-coupled loading of SpCENP-A by facilitating nucleosomal formation during the S phase. Consistently, overproduction of histone H4, but not that of H3, suppressed the defect of SpCENP-A localization in Ams2-deficient cells. We demonstrated the existence of at least two distinct phases for SpCENP-A loading during the cell cycle: the S phase and the late-G2 phase. Ectopically induced SpCENP-A was efficiently loaded onto the centromeres in G2-arrested cells, indicating that SpCENP-A probably undergoes replication-uncoupled loading after the completion of S phase. This G2 loading pathway of SpCENP-A may require Mis6, a constitutive centromere-binding protein that is also implicated in the Mad2-dependent spindle attachment checkpoint response. Here, we discuss the functional relationship between the flexible loading mechanism of CENP-A and the plasticity of centromere chromatin formation in fission yeast.
One contribution of 17 to a Discussion Meeting Issue ‘Chromosome segregation’.
- © 2005 The Royal Society