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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2000 Apr;10(2):178-86.

Think global, act local--how to regulate S phase from individual replication origins.

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Institut de Génétique Moléculaire, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (UMR 5535) & Université Montpellier II, Montpellier, F-34293, France.


All eukaryotes use similar proteins to licence replication origins but, paradoxically, origin DNA is much less conserved. Specific binding sites for these proteins have now been identified on fission yeast and Drosophila chromosomes, suggesting that the DNA-binding activity of the origin recognition complex has diverged to recruit conserved initiation factors on polymorphic replication origins. Once formed, competent origins are activated by cyclin- and Dbf4-dependent kinases. The latter have been shown to control S phase in several organisms but, in contrast to cyclin-dependent kinases, seem regulated at the level of individual origins. Global and local regulations generate specific patterns of DNA replication that help establish epigenetic chromosome states.

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