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Development. 2012 Feb;139(3):455-64. doi: 10.1242/dev.061838.

Regulation of DNA replication during development.

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  • 1Whitehead Institute and Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.


As development unfolds, DNA replication is not only coordinated with cell proliferation, but is regulated uniquely in specific cell types and organs. This differential regulation of DNA synthesis requires crosstalk between DNA replication and differentiation. This dynamic aspect of DNA replication is highlighted by the finding that the distribution of replication origins varies between differentiated cell types and changes with differentiation. Moreover, differential DNA replication in some cell types can lead to increases or decreases in gene copy number along chromosomes. This review highlights the recent advances and technologies that have provided us with new insights into the developmental regulation of DNA replication.

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