Transcription and evolutionary dynamics of the centromeric satellite repeat CentO in rice

  • Lee H
  • Neumann P
  • Macas J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Satellite DNA is a major component of centromeric heterochromatin in most multicellular eukaryotes, where it is typically organized into megabase-sized tandem arrays. It has recently been demonstrated that small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) processed from centromeric satellite repeats can be involved in epigenetic chromatin modifications which appear to underpin centromere function. However, the structural organization and evolution of the centromeric satellite DNA is still poorly understood. We analyzed the centromeric satellite repeat arrays from rice chromosomes 1 and 8 and identified higher order structures and local homogenization of the CentO repeats in these 2 centromeres. We also cloned the CentO repeats from the CENH3-associated nucleosomes by a chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-based method. Sequence variability analysis of the ChIPed CentO repeats revealed a single variable domain within the repeat. We detected transcripts derived from both strands of the CentO repeats. The CentO transcripts are processed into siRNA, suggesting a potential role of this satellite repeat family in epigenetic chromatin modification.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Centromere
  • Satellite repeat
  • Transcription
  • siRNA

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