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Annu Rev Biochem. 1999;68:649-86.

MCM proteins in DNA replication.

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  • Section of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-2703, USA.


The MCM proteins are essential replication initiation factors originally identified as proteins required for minichromosome maintenance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The best known among them are a family of six structurally related proteins, MCM2-7, which are evolutionally conserved in all eukaryotes. The MCM2-7 proteins form a hexameric complex. This complex is a key component of the prereplication complex that assembles at replication origins during early G1 phase. New evidence suggests that the MCM2-7 proteins may be involved not only in the initiation but also in the elongation of DNA replication. Orchestration of the functional interactions between the MCM2-7 proteins and other components of the prereplication complex by cell cycle-dependent protein kinases results in initiation of DNA synthesis once every cell cycle.

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