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Early diverging fungus Mucor circinelloides lacks centromeric histone CENP-A and displays a mosaic of point and regional centromeres. Navarro-Mendoza et al

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posted on 17.12.2019 by Carlos Pérez-Arques, María Isabel Navarro-Mendoza, Shweta Panchal, Joseph Heitman, Kaustuv Sanyal, Victoriano Garre
Supplementary material of the study "Early diverging fungus Mucor circinelloides lacks centromeric histone CENP-A and displays a mosaic of point and regional centromeres" by Navarro-Mendoza et al. Centromeres are rapidly evolving across eukaryotes, despite performing a conserved function to ensure high fidelity chromosome segregation. CENP-A chromatin is a hallmark of a functional centromere in most organisms. Due to its critical role in kinetochore architecture, the loss of CENP-A is tolerated in only a few organisms, many of which possess holocentric chromosomes. Here, we characterize the consequence of the loss of CENP-A in the fungal kingdom. Mucor circinelloides, an opportunistic human pathogen, lacks CENP-A along with the evolutionarily conserved CENP-C, but assembles a monocentric chromosome with a localized kinetochore complex throughout the cell cycle. Mis12 and Dsn1, two conserved kinetochore proteins were found to colocalize to nine large scaffolds binding a short region comprised of an ~200-bp AT-rich sequence followed by a centromere-specific conserved motif that echoes the structure of budding yeast point centromeres. Resembling fungal regional centromeres, these core centromere regions are embedded in large genomic expanses devoid of genes yet marked by Grem-LINE1s, a novel retrotransposable element silenced by the Dicer-dependent RNAi pathway. Our results suggest that these hybrid features of point and regional centromeres arose from the absence of CENP-A, thus defining novel mosaic centromeres in this early-diverging fungus.

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