Centromeres are established by nucleosomes containing the histone H3 variant CENP-A. CENP-A is recruited to centromeres by the Mis18–HJURP machinery. During mitosis, CENP-A recruitment ceases, implying the necessity of CENP-A maintenance at centromeres, although the exact underlying mechanism remains elusive. Herein, we show that the inner kinetochore protein Mis6 (CENP-I) and Mis15 (CENP-N) retain CENP-A during mitosis in fission yeast. Eliminating Mis6 or Mis15 during mitosis caused immediate loss of pre-existing CENP-A at centromeres. CENP-A loss occurred due to the transcriptional upregulation of non-coding RNAs at the central core region of centromeres, as confirmed by the observation RNA polymerase II inhibition preventing CENP-A loss from centromeres in the mis6 mutant. Thus, we concluded that the inner kinetochore complex containing Mis6–Mis15 blocks the indiscriminate transcription of non-coding RNAs at the core centromere, thereby retaining the epigenetic inheritance of CENP-A during mitosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas