The CENP-A nucleosome: where and when it happens during the inner kinetochore's assembly

Kale S., Boopathi R., Belotti E., Lone I. N., Graies M., Schröder M., ...More

Trends in Biochemical Sciences, vol.48, no.10, pp.849-859, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.tibs.2023.07.010
  • Journal Name: Trends in Biochemical Sciences
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core
  • Page Numbers: pp.849-859
  • Keywords: CCAN complex, CENP-A nucleosome, chromatin, histone variants, mitosis
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


CENP-A is an essential histone variant that replaces the canonical H3 at the centromeres and marks these regions epigenetically. The CENP-A nucleosome is the specific building block of centromeric chromatin, and it is recognized by CENP-C and CENP-N, two components of the constitutive centromere-associated network (CCAN), the first protein layer of the kinetochore. Recent proposals of the yeast and human (h)CCAN structures position the assembly on exposed DNA, suggesting an elusive spatiotemporal recognition. We summarize the data on the structural organization of the CENP-A nucleosome and the binding of CENP-C and CENP-N. The latter posits an apparent contradiction in engaging the CENP-A nucleosome versus the CCAN. We propose a reconciliatory model for the assembly of CCAN on centromeric chromatin.