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Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Jan;22(1):105-16.

Mammalian Orc1 protein is selectively released from chromatin and ubiquitinated during the S-to-M transition in the cell division cycle.

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National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2753, USA.


Previous studies have shown that changes in the affinity of the hamster Orc1 protein for chromatin during the M-to-G(1) transition correlate with the activity of hamster origin recognition complexes (ORCs) and the appearance of prereplication complexes at specific sites. Here we show that Orc1 is selectively released from chromatin as cells enter S phase, converted into a mono- or diubiquitinated form, and then deubiquitinated and re-bound to chromatin during the M-to-G(1) transition. Orc1 is degraded by the 26S proteasome only when released into the cytosol, and peptide additions to Orc1 make it hypersensitive to polyubiquitination. In contrast, Orc2 remains tightly bound to chromatin throughout the cell cycle and is not a substrate for ubiquitination. Since the concentration of Orc1 remains constant throughout the cell cycle, and its half-life in vivo is the same as that of Orc2, ubiquitination of non-chromatin-bound Orc1 presumably facilitates the inactivation of ORCs by sequestering Orc1 during S phase. Thus, in contrast to yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe), mammalian ORC activity appears to be regulated during each cell cycle through selective dissociation and reassociation of Orc1 from chromatin-bound ORCs.

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