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Transgenerational inheritance of centromere identity requires the CENP-A N-terminal tail in the C. elegans maternal germ line

Published inPLoS biology, vol. 19, no. 7, e3000968
Publication date2021-07-06
First online date2021-07-06
Abstract

Centromere protein A (CENP-A) is a histone H3 variant that defines centromeric chromatin and is essential for centromere function. In most eukaryotes, CENP-A-containing chromatin is epigenetically maintained, and centromere identity is inherited from one cell cycle to the next. In the germ line of the holocentric nematode Caenorhabditis elegans , this inheritance cycle is disrupted. CENP-A is removed at the mitosis-to-meiosis transition and is reestablished on chromatin during diplotene of meiosis I. Here, we show that the N-terminal tail of CENP-A is required for the de novo establishment of centromeres, but then its presence becomes dispensable for centromere maintenance during development. Worms homozygous for a CENP-A tail deletion maintain functional centromeres during development but give rise to inviable offspring because they fail to reestablish centromeres in the maternal germ line. We identify the N-terminal tail of CENP-A as a critical domain for the interaction with the conserved kinetochore protein KNL-2 and argue that this interaction plays an important role in setting centromere identity in the germ line. We conclude that centromere establishment and maintenance are functionally distinct in C . elegans .

Citation (ISO format)
PROSEE, Reinier et al. Transgenerational inheritance of centromere identity requires the CENP-A N-terminal tail in the C. elegans maternal germ line. In: PLoS biology, 2021, vol. 19, n° 7, p. e3000968. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000968
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ISSN of the journal1544-9173
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