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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2004 Dec;7(6):680-90.

Flexibility and governance in eukaryotic DNA replication.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Genetics, CNRS UMR5535 and University Montpellier 2, 1919, route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier, France.


Eukaryotic DNA replication begins at numerous but often poorly characterized sequences called origins, which are distributed fairly regularly along chromosomes. The elusive and idiosyncratic nature of origins in higher eukaryotes is now understood as resulting from a strong epigenetic influence on their specification, which provides flexibility in origin selection and allows for tailoring the dynamics of chromosome replication to the specific needs of cells. By contrast, the factors that assemble in trans to make these origins competent for replication and the kinases that trigger initiation are well conserved. Genome-wide and single-molecule approaches are being developed to elucidate the dynamics of chromosome replication. The notion that a well-coordinated progression of replication forks is crucial for many aspects of the chromosome cycle besides simply duplication begins to be appreciated.

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