Centromeres are specified by sequence-independent epigenetic mechanisms, and the centromere position may drift at each cell cycle, but once this position is specified, it may not be frequently moved. Currently, it is unclear whether the centromere position is stable. To address this question, we systematically analyzed the position of nonrepetitive centromeres in 21 independent clones isolated from a laboratory stock of chicken DT40 cells using chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with massive parallel sequencing analysis with anti–CENP-A antibody. We demonstrated that the centromere position varies among the clones, suggesting that centromere drift occurs during cell proliferation. However, when we analyzed this position in the subclones obtained from one isolated clone, the position was found to be relatively stable. Interestingly, the centromere drift was shown to occur frequently in CENP-U– and CENP-S–deficient cells. Based on these results, we suggest that the centromere position can change after many cell divisions, but this drift is suppressed in short-term cultures, and the complete centromere structure contributes to the suppression of the centromere drift.
- Submitted: 1 May 2016
- Revision received 12 September 2016
- Accepted: 11 November 2016
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