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Genes 2019, 10(3), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10030223

Centromere Repeats: Hidden Gems of the Genome

1
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
2
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Institute for Systems Genomics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 11 March 2019 / Published: 16 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Repetitive DNA Sequences)
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Abstract

Satellite DNAs are now regarded as powerful and active contributors to genomic and chromosomal evolution. Paired with mobile transposable elements, these repetitive sequences provide a dynamic mechanism through which novel karyotypic modifications and chromosomal rearrangements may occur. In this review, we discuss the regulatory activity of satellite DNA and their neighboring transposable elements in a chromosomal context with a particular emphasis on the integral role of both in centromere function. In addition, we discuss the varied mechanisms by which centromeric repeats have endured evolutionary processes, producing a novel, species-specific centromeric landscape despite sharing a ubiquitously conserved function. Finally, we highlight the role these repetitive elements play in the establishment and functionality of de novo centromeres and chromosomal breakpoints that underpin karyotypic variation. By emphasizing these unique activities of satellite DNAs and transposable elements, we hope to disparage the conventional exemplification of repetitive DNA in the historically-associated context of ‘junk’. View Full-Text
Keywords: satellite; transposable element; repetitive DNA; chromosome evolution; centromere drive; genetic conflict; CENP-A; centromeric transcription satellite; transposable element; repetitive DNA; chromosome evolution; centromere drive; genetic conflict; CENP-A; centromeric transcription
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Hartley, G.; O’Neill, R.J. Centromere Repeats: Hidden Gems of the Genome. Genes 2019, 10, 223.

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