Centromeric chromatin pliability and memory at a human neocentromere

Jeffrey M. Craig, Lee H. Wong, Anthony W I Lo, Elizabeth Earle, K. H Andy Choo

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23 Citations (Scopus)


We show that Trichostatin A (TSA)-induced partial histone hyperacetylation causes a unidirectional shift in the position of a previously defined binding domain for the centromere-specific histone H3 homologue CENP-A at a human neocentromere. The shift of ∼320 kb is fully reversible when TSA is removed, but is accompanied by an apparent reduction in the density of CENP-A per unit length of genomic DNA at the neocentromere. TSA treatment also instigates a reversible abolition of a previously defined major domain of differentially delayed replication timing that was originally established at the neocentromeric site. None of these changes has any measurable deleterious effects on mitosis or neocentromere function. The data suggest pliability of centromeric chromatin in response to epigenetic triggers, and the non-essential nature of the regions of delayed replication for centromere function. Reversibility of the CENP-A-binding position and the predominant region of delayed replication timing following removal of TSA suggest strong memory at the original site of neocentromeric chromatin formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2495-2504
Number of pages10
JournalThe EMBO Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • CENP-A
  • Centromere
  • Chromatin
  • Neocentromere
  • Replication time

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