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Centromeres play crucial roles in faithful chromosome segregation and genome integrity. In simian primates, centromeres possess tandem array of alpha satellite DNA (also referred to as alphoid DNA). Average sizes of alpha satellite repeat units vary between species, e.g., 171 bp in human and 343 - 344 bp in many platyrrhini species (New World monkeys). Interestingly, Azara's owl monkey (Aotus azarae), a platyrrhini species, possesses alpha satellite DNA of two distinct unit sizes, OwlAlp1 (185 bp) and OwlAlp2 (344 bp), both of which present as megasatellite DNAs in the genome. It is, however, unknown which repeat sequence is responsible for functional centromere formation. To investigate the localization of centromeres in vivo, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay using Azara's owl monkey cells. We found that CENP-A, a histone H3 variant essential for centromere formation, was enriched at OwlAlp1, but not at OwlAlp2. Moreover, CENP-A was detected only at constricted regions of chromosomes by immunofluorescent microscopy. In contrast, tri-methylation of histone H3-K9 (H3K9me3), a marker of heterochromatin, was enriched at both OwlAlp1 and OwlAlp2. Our results demonstrate that the shorter alpha satellite repeat, OwlAlp1, is selectively utilized for centromere formation in this monkey. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Name: Genes to cells : devoted to molecular & cellular mechanisms
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Defective viruses which can multiply only by association with a helper virus which complements the defective gene. Satellite viruses may be associated with certain plant viruses, animal viruses, or bacteriophages. They differ from satellite RNA; (RNA, SATELLITE) in that satellite viruses encode their own coat protein.
Highly repetitive DNA sequences found in HETEROCHROMATIN, mainly near centromeres. They are composed of simple sequences (very short) (see MINISATELLITE REPEATS) repeated in tandem many times to form large blocks of sequence. Additionally, following the accumulation of mutations, these blocks of repeats have been repeated in tandem themselves. The degree of repetition is on the order of 1000 to 10 million at each locus. Loci are few, usually one or two per chromosome. They were called satellites since in density gradients, they often sediment as distinct, satellite bands separate from the bulk of genomic DNA owing to a distinct BASE COMPOSITION.
Communications using an active or passive satellite to extend the range of radio, television, or other electronic transmission by returning signals to earth from an orbiting satellite.
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Small, linear single-stranded RNA molecules functionally acting as molecular parasites of certain RNA plant viruses. Satellite RNAs exhibit four characteristic traits: (1) they require helper viruses to replicate; (2) they are unnecessary for the replication of helper viruses; (3) they are encapsidated in the coat protein of the helper virus; (4) they have no extensive sequence homology to the helper virus. Thus they differ from SATELLITE VIRUSES which encode their own coat protein, and from the genomic RNA; (=RNA, VIRAL); of satellite viruses. (From Maramorosch, Viroids and Satellites, 1991, p143)
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