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Mol Cell Biol. 1993 Sep; 13(9): 5360–5369.
PMCID: PMC360237

cis-acting components in the replication origin from ribosomal DNA of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Abstract

The ribosomal DNA (rDNA) repeats of Saccharomyces cerevisiae contain an autonomously replicating sequence (ARS) that colocalizes with a chromosomal origin of replication. We show that a minimal sequence necessary for full ARS function corresponds to a 107-bp rDNA fragment which contains three 10-of-11-bp matches to the ARS consensus sequence. Point mutations in only one of the 10-of-11-bp matches, GTTTAT GTTTT, inactivate the rDNA ARS, indicating that this consensus sequence is essential. A perfect match to a revised ARS consensus is present but not essential. Sequences up to 9 bp 5' from the essential consensus are dispensable. A broad DNA region directly 3' to the essential consensus is required and is easily unwound as indicated by: (i) hypersensitivity to nicking of an approximately 100-bp region by mung bean nuclease in a negatively supercoiled plasmid and (ii) helical instability determined by thermodynamic analysis of the nucleotide sequence. A correlation between DNA helical instability and replication efficiency of wild-type and mutated ribosomal ARS derivatives suggests that a broad region 3' to the essential ARS consensus functions as a DNA unwinding element. Certain point mutations that do not stabilize the DNA helix in the 3' region but reduce ARS efficiency reveal an element distinct from, but overlapping, the DNA unwinding element. The nucleotide sequence of the functionally important constituents in the ARS appears to be conserved among the rDNA repeats in the chromosome.

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Selected References

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