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Genes Dev. 2012 Aug 15;26(16):1797-810. doi: 10.1101/gad.197178.112. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

Meier-Gorlin syndrome mutations disrupt an Orc1 CDK inhibitory domain and cause centrosome reduplication.

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  • 1Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York 11724, USA.


Like DNA replication, centrosomes are licensed to duplicate once per cell division cycle to ensure genetic stability. In addition to regulating DNA replication, the Orc1 subunit of the human origin recognition complex controls centriole and centrosome copy number. Here we report that Orc1 harbors a PACT centrosome-targeting domain and a separate domain that differentially inhibits the protein kinase activities of Cyclin E-CDK2 and Cyclin A-CDK2. A cyclin-binding motif (Cy motif) is required for Orc1 to bind Cyclin A and inhibit Cyclin A-CDK2 kinase activity but has no effect on Cyclin E-CDK2 kinase activity. In contrast, Orc1 inhibition of Cyclin E-CDK2 kinase activity occurs by a different mechanism that is affected by Orc1 mutations identified in Meier-Gorlin syndrome patients. The cyclin/CDK2 kinase inhibitory domain of Orc1, when tethered to the PACT domain, localizes to centrosomes and blocks centrosome reduplication. Meier-Gorlin syndrome mutations that disrupt Cyclin E-CDK2 kinase inhibition also allow centrosome reduplication. Thus, Orc1 contains distinct domains that control centrosome copy number and DNA replication. We suggest that the Orc1 mutations present in some Meier-Gorlin syndrome patients contribute to the pronounced microcephaly and dwarfism observed in these individuals by altering centrosome duplication in addition to DNA replication defects.

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