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Science. 2001 Dec 14;294(5550):2357-60.

Genome-wide distribution of ORC and MCM proteins in S. cerevisiae: high-resolution mapping of replication origins.

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Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


DNA replication origins are fundamental to chromosome organization and duplication, but understanding of these elements is limited because only a small fraction of these sites have been identified in eukaryotic genomes. Origin Recognition Complex (ORC) and minichromosome maintenance (MCM) proteins form prereplicative complexes at origins of replication. Using these proteins as molecular landmarks for origins, we identified ORC- and MCM-bound sites throughout the yeast genome. Four hundred twenty-nine sites in the yeast genome were predicted to contain replication origins, and approximately 80% of the loci identified on chromosome X demonstrated origin function. A substantial fraction of the predicted origins are associated with repetitive DNA sequences, including subtelomeric elements (X and Y') and transposable element-associated sequences (long terminal repeats). These findings identify the global set of yeast replication origins and open avenues of investigation into the role(s) ORC and MCM proteins play in chromosomal architecture and dynamics.

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