The histone H3 variant CENP-A is the most favored candidate for an epigenetic mark that specifies the centromere. In fission yeast, adjacent heterochromatin can direct CENP-A chromatin establishment, but the underlying features governing where CENP-A chromatin assembles are unknown. We show that, in addition to centromeric regions, a low level of CENP-A associates with gene promoters where histone H3 is depleted by the activity of the Hrp1 chromatinremodeling factor. Moreover, we demonstrate that noncoding RNAs are transcribed by RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) from CENP-A chromatin at centromeres. These analyses reveal a similarity between centromeres and a subset of RNAPII genes and suggest a role for remodeling at RNAPII promoters within centromeres that influences the replacement of histone H3 with CENP-A.
- Chromatin Remodeling
- Noncoding Transcripts