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Evolution of Alpha Satellite DNA

  1. Đurđica Ugarković

Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020829



How to Cite

Ugarković, Đ. 2008. Evolution of Alpha Satellite DNA. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (15 FEB 2013)


Alpha satellite deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is based on 171-bp tandem repeats located in the centromeric regions of all primate chromosomes. It evolves through a series of amplification events resulting in the spreading of ‘new’ subfamilies which replace the ‘old’ ones and confer centromere function. Alpha satellite transcripts play an important role in kinetochore formation and the establishment of pericentromeric heterochromatin.


  • alpha satellite DNA;
  • higher order repeats;
  • centromere;
  • heterochromatin;
  • concerted evolution