Comparison between the CENP-A and histone H3 structures in nucleosomes

Hiroaki Tachiwana, Wataru Kagawa, Hitoshi Kurumizaka*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Centromeres are epigenetically marked by the assembly of nucleosomes containing the centromere-specific histone H3 variant, CENP-A (CENP-A nucleosome) and their inheritance is probably dictated by the architecture of the centromeric nucleosome. We previously determined the crystal structure of the human CENP-A nucleosome. CENP-A forms a histone octamer containing two each of histones H2A, H2B, H4 and CENP-A and the DNA is left-handedly wrapped around the histone octamer, as in canonical nucleosomes containing histone H3. In the CENP-A nucleosome structure, 13 base pairs of the DNA ends are detached from the histone surface and two CENP-A regions, the aN helix and loop 1, adopt different structures from those in the H3 nucleosome. In this Extra View article, we provide a detailed structural comparison between CENP-A and H3 in nucleosomes and describe their distinctions and similarities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6-11
    Number of pages6
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan


    • CENP-A
    • CENP-B
    • CENP-C
    • Centromere
    • Chromatin
    • Histone
    • Histone H3
    • Nucleosome

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cell Biology


    Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison between the CENP-A and histone H3 structures in nucleosomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this