To convert a piece of cloned DNA into a centromere-containing human artificial chromosome (HAC), an array of repeated LacO sequences is incorporated into the DNA. The DNA is then transfected into human cells that have been engineered to express a fusion protein consisting of a LacO binding domain and a factor called HJURP. The fusion protein binds to the LacO domains (1), and incorporates the specialized centromeric histone CENP-A into and along neighboring chromatin (2). In turn, the region of CENP-A-containing chromatin forms a centromere, converting the cloned DNA into a functional self-perpetuating HAC (3).

George retseck

Read the full story.

Ruth Williams is a freelance journalist based in Connecticut. Email her at or find her on Twitter @rooph.

Interested in reading more?

Magaizne Cover

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?