Involvement of satellite I noncoding RNA in regulation of chromosome segregation

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Human centromeres consist of repetitive sequences from which satellite I noncoding RNAs are transcribed. We found that knockdown of satellite I RNA causes abnormal chromosome segregation and generation of nuclei with a grape-shape phenotype. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments showed that satellite I RNA associates with Aurora B, a component of the chromosome passenger complex (CPC) regulating proper attachment of microtubules to kinetochores, in mitotic HeLa cells. Satellite I RNA was also shown to associate with INCENP, another component of the CPC. In addition, depletion of satellite I RNA resulted in up-regulation of kinase activity of Aurora B and delocalization of the CPC from the centromere region. These results suggest that satellite I RNA is involved in chromosome segregation through controlling activity and centromeric localization of Aurora B kinase.

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