Esperanto for histones: CENP-A, not CenH3, is the centromeric histone H3 variant

W. C. Earnshaw, R. C. Allshire, B. E. Black, K. Bloom, B. R. Brinkley, W. Brown, I. M. Cheeseman, K. H.A. Choo, G. P. Copenhaver, J. G. Deluca, A. Desai, S. Diekmann, S. Erhardt, M. Fitzgerald-Hayes, D. Foltz, T. Fukagawa, R. Gassmann, D. W. Gerlich, D. M. Glover, G. J. GorbskyS. C. Harrison, P. Heun, T. Hirota, L. E.T. Jansen, G. Karpen, G. J.P.L. Kops, M. A. Lampson, S. M. Lens, A. Losada, K. Luger, H. Maiato, P. S. Maddox, R. L. Margolis, H. Masumoto, A. D. McAinsh, B. G. Mellone, P. Meraldi, A. Musacchio, K. Oegema, R. J. O'Neill, E. D. Salmon, K. C. Scott, A. F. Straight, P. T. Stukenberg, B. A. Sullivan, K. F. Sullivan, C. E. Sunkel, J. R. Swedlow, C. E. Walczak, P. E. Warburton, S. Westermann, H. F. Willard, L. Wordeman, M. Yanagida, T. J. Yen, K. Yoda, D. W. Cleveland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


The first centromeric protein identified in any species was CENP-A, a divergent member of the histone H3 family that was recognised by autoantibodies from patients with scleroderma-spectrum disease. It has recently been suggested to rename this protein CenH3. Here, we argue that the original name should be maintained both because it is the basis of a long established nomenclature for centromere proteins and because it avoids confusion due to the presence of canonical histone H3 at centromeres.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-106
Number of pages6
JournalChromosome Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013



  • CenH3
  • CENP-A
  • centromere
  • histone
  • kinetochore

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

Cite this

Earnshaw, W. C., Allshire, R. C., Black, B. E., Bloom, K., Brinkley, B. R., Brown, W., Cheeseman, I. M., Choo, K. H. A., Copenhaver, G. P., Deluca, J. G., Desai, A., Diekmann, S., Erhardt, S., Fitzgerald-Hayes, M., Foltz, D., Fukagawa, T., Gassmann, R., Gerlich, D. W., Glover, D. M., ... Cleveland, D. W. (2013). Esperanto for histones: CENP-A, not CenH3, is the centromeric histone H3 variant. Chromosome Research, 21(2), 101-106.