Centromeres are the structures that direct eukaryotic chromosome segregation In mitosis and meiosis. There are two major classes of centromeres. Point centromeres, found in the budding yeasts, are compact loci whose constituent proteins are now beginning to yield to biochemical analysis. Regional centromeres, best described in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, encompass many kilobases of DNA and are packaged into heterochromatin. Their associated proteins are as yet poorly understood. In addition to providing the site for microtubule attachment, centromeres also have an important role in checkpoint regulation during mitosis.
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