Les centromères des chromosomes de mammifères
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The secrecy of the nature of the centromere-kinetochore complex of mammals is beginning to be betrayed. One can already firmly suggest that, among the other satellite DNAs which are a subset of the constituants of the human centromeric regions, the alpha satellite is probably contributing to the function of the centromere. The physical structure of the centromere-kinetochore complex is variable from one chromosome to the other and, moreover, prone to extreme polymorphism. Interactions between DNA and some of the proteins of the complex have been demonstrated. One still does not know, however, why centromeric regions remain compact all along the cell cycle, why they are restricted in recombination and if they contain any gene. Centromere dysfunction is associated with a number of pathologies in man (aneuploidies, cancers...). A number of important questions concerning their structure and function remain, however, unanswered.
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Roizès, G ; Marçais, B ; Yurov, Y, Les centromères des chromosomes de mammifères, Med Sci (Paris), 1994, Vol. 10, N° 3; p.282-95