Magee-Womens Research Institute Work-in-Progress Seminar

September 25, 2019 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Magee-Womens Research Institute, Conference Center, 1st Floor
Speaker: Yael Nechemia-Arbely, PhD
Title: Assistant Professor, Dept of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
Lecture Title: Guarding the genome: Maintaining epigenetically defined human centromeres through error correction

The centromere is a central genetic element responsible for accurate chromosome segregation during cell division. Functional centromeres are specified epigenetically through the stable acquisition of CENP-A, a histone H3 variant found exclusively in nucleosomes at all active centromeres. Using genome-wide approaches, we recently discovered that DNA replication serves as an error correction mechanism that restricts CENP-A to centromeres by removing it from the ectopic sites of deposition at the chromosome arms, while maintaining the positions of centromere-bound CENP-A with high precision throughout DNA replication. This error correction mechanism explains how centromere identity is epigenetically maintained and restricted to one position on the chromosome, thereby suppressing genome instability and ensuring long-term faithful chromosome inheritance.