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J Biol Chem. 2002 Aug 23;277(34):30824-31. Epub 2002 Jun 11.

Two mcm3 mutations affect different steps in the initiation of DNA replication.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.


Mcm3 is a subunit of the hexameric MCM2-7 complex required for the initiation and elongation of DNA replication in eukaryotes. We have characterized two mutant alleles, mcm3-1 and mcm3-10, in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and showed that they are defective at different steps of the replication initiation process. Mcm3-10 contains a P118L substitution that compromises its interaction with Mcm5 and the recruitment of Mcm3 and Mcm7 to a replication origin. P118 is conserved between Mcm3, Mcm4, Mcm5, and Mcm7. An identical substitution of this conserved residue in Mcm5 (P83L of mcm5-bob1) strengthens the interaction between Mcm3 and Mcm5 and allows cells to enter S phase independent of Cdc7-Dbf4 kinase (Hardy, C. F., Dryga, O., Pahl, P. M. B., and Sclafani, R. A. (1997) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 94, 3151-3155). Mcm3-1 contains a G246E mutation that diminishes the efficiency of replication initiation (Yan, H., Merchant, A. M., and Tye, B. K. (1993) Genes Dev. 7, 2149-2160) but not its interaction with Mcm5 or recruitment of the MCM2-7 complex to replication origin. These observations indicate that Mcm3-10 is defective in a step before, and Mcm3-1 is defective in a step after the recruitment of the MCM2-7 complex to replication origins.

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