Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
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Academic Editor: Katsumi Kitagawa
A fundamental requirement of life is for cells to divide and pass on to their daughters a full complement of genetic material. The centromere of the chromosome is essential for this process, as it provides the DNA sequences on which the kinetochore assembles to allow mitotic chromosome segregation. Kinetochore assembly is subject to epigenetic control, and deciphering how centromeres promote faithful chromosome segregation provides a fascinating challenge. This challenge is made more complex by the scale of metazoan centromeres, thus much research has focused on dissecting centromere function in simple eukaryotes. Interestingly, in spite their similar genome size, budding and fission yeasts have adopted different strategies for passing on chromosomes. Budding yeast have "point" centromeres, where 125 nucleotides is sufficient for mitotic propagation, whereas fission yeast centromeres are more reminiscent of the large repetitive centromeres of metazoans. In addition, centromeric heterochromatin which coats fission yeast and metazoan centromeres and is critical for their function, is absent from budding yeast centromeres. This review focuses on the assembly and maintenance of centromeric chromatin in the fission yeast.