Active transcription and essential role of RNA polymerase II at the centromere during mitosis

Foong Lyn Chan, Owen J Marshall, Richard Saffery, Bo Won Kim, Elizabeth Earle, Andy Choo, Lee Wong

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Transcription of the centromeric regions has been reported to occur in G1 and S phase in different species. Here, we investigate whether transcription also occurs and plays a functional role at the mammalian centromere during mitosis. We show the presence of actively transcribing RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) and its associated transcription factors, coupled with the production of centromere satellite transcripts at the mitotic kinetochore. Specific inhibition of RNAPII activity during mitosis leads to a decrease in centromeric a-satellite transcription and a concomitant increase in anaphase-lagging cells, with the lagging chromosomes showing reduced centromere protein C binding. These findings demonstrate an essential role of RNAPII in the transcription of a-satellite DNA, binding of centromere protein C, and the proper functioning of the mitotic kinetochore.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1979 - 1984
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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