Crystal structure of partially trypsinized (CENP-A/H4)2 heterotetramer
[CENPA_HUMAN] Histone H3-like variant which exclusively replaces conventional H3 in the nucleosome core of centromeric chromatin at the inner plate of the kinetochore. Required for recruitment and assembly of kinetochore proteins, mitotic progression and chromosome segregation. May serve as an epigenetic mark that propagates centromere identity through replication and cell division. The CENPA-H4 heterotetramer can bind DNA by itself (in vitro). 
Publication Abstract from PubMed
Centromeres are specified epigenetically, and the histone H3 variant CENP-A is assembled into the chromatin of all active centromeres. Divergence from H3 raises the possibility that CENP-A generates unique chromatin features to mark physically centromere location. Here we report the crystal structure of a subnucleosomal heterotetramer, human (CENP-A-H4)(2), that reveals three distinguishing properties encoded by the residues that comprise the CENP-A targeting domain (CATD; ref. 2): (1) a CENP-A-CENP-A interface that is substantially rotated relative to the H3-H3 interface; (2) a protruding loop L1 of the opposite charge as that on H3; and (3) strong hydrophobic contacts that rigidify the CENP-A-H4 interface. Residues involved in the CENP-A-CENP-A rotation are required for efficient incorporation into centromeric chromatin, indicating specificity for an unconventional nucleosome shape. DNA topological analysis indicates that CENP-A-containing nucleosomes are octameric with conventional left-handed DNA wrapping, in contrast to other recent proposals. Our results indicate that CENP-A marks centromere location by restructuring the nucleosome from within its folded histone core.
The structure of (CENP-A-H4)(2) reveals physical features that mark centromeres.,Sekulic N, Bassett EA, Rogers DJ, Black BE Nature. 2010 Aug 25. PMID:20739937
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.