The presence of chromatin containing the histone H3 variant CENP-A dictates the location of the centromere in a DNA sequence-independent manner. But the mechanism by which centromere inheritance occurs is largely unknown. We previously reported that CENP-A K124 ubiquitylation, mediated by CUL4A-RBX1-COPS8 E3 ligase activity, is required for CENP-A deposition at the centromere. Here, we show that pre-existing ubiquitylated CENP-A is necessary for recruitment of newly synthesized CENP-A to the centromere and that CENP-A ubiquitylation is inherited between cell divisions. In vivo and in vitro analyses using dimerization mutants and dimerization domain fusion mutants revealed that the inheritance of CENP-A ubiquitylation requires CENP-A dimerization. Therefore, we propose models in which CENP-A ubiquitylation is inherited and, through dimerization, determines centromere location. Consistent with this model is our finding that overexpression of a monoubiquitin-fused CENP-A mutant induces neocentromeres at noncentromeric regions of chromosomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)