Centromere-like regions in the budding yeast genome.
Accurate chromosome segregation requires centromeres (CENs), the DNA sequences where kinetochores form, to attach chromosomes to microtubules. In contrast to most eukaryotes, which have broad centromeres, Saccharomyces cerevisiae possesses sequence-defined point CENs. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-Seq) reveals colocalization of four kinetochore proteins at novel, discrete, non-centromeric regions, especially when levels of the centromeric histone H3 variant, Cse4 (a.k.a. CENP-A or CenH3), are elevated. These regions of overlapping protein binding enhance the segregation of plasmids and chromosomes and have thus been termed Centromere-Like Regions (CLRs). CLRs form in close proximity to S. cerevisiae CENs and share characteristics typical of both point and regional CENs. CLR sequences are conserved among related budding yeasts. Many genomic features characteristic of CLRs are also associated with these conserved homologous sequences from closely related budding yeasts. These studies provide general and important insights into the origin and evolution of centromeres.