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Keywords:

  • centromere;
  • cell division;
  • evolution;
  • cancer;
  • 3D nucleus;
  • imaging

Abstract

As the spindle fiber attachment region of the chromosome, the centromere has been investigated in a variety of contexts. Here, we will review current knowledge about this unique chromosomal region and its relevance for proper cell division, speciation, and disease. Understanding the three-dimensional organization of centromeres in normal and tumor cells is just beginning to emerge. Multidisciplinary research will allow for new insights into its normal and aberrant nuclear organization and may allow for new therapeutic interventions that target events linked to centromere function and cell division. J. Cell. Biochem. 104: 2040–2058, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.