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Nat Genet. 2002 Nov;32(3):438-42. Epub 2002 Sep 30.

Genome-wide DNA replication profile for Drosophila melanogaster: a link between transcription and replication timing.

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  • 1Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA. dschubel@fhcrc.org


Replication of the genome before mitotic cell division is a highly regulated process that ensures the fidelity of DNA duplication. DNA replication initiates at specific locations, termed origins of replication, and progresses in a defined temporal order during the S phase of the cell cycle. The relationship between replication timing and gene expression has been the subject of some speculation. A recent genome-wide analysis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae showed no association between replication timing and gene expression. In higher eukaryotes, the limited number of genomic loci analyzed has not permitted a firm conclusion regarding this association. To explore the relationship between DNA replication and gene expression in higher eukaryotes, we developed a strategy to measure the timing of DNA replication for thousands of genes in a single DNA array hybridization experiment. Using this approach, we generated a genome-wide map of replication timing for Drosophila melanogaster. Moreover, by surveying over 40% of all D. melanogaster genes, we found a strong correlation between DNA replication early in S phase and transcriptional activity. As this correlation does not exist in S. cerevisiae, this interplay between DNA replication and transcription may be a unique characteristic of higher eukaryotes.

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