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Cancer Biol Ther. 2002 Jan-Feb;1(1):8-13.

Duplication of the genome in normal and cancer cell cycles.

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Department of Genetics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6145, USA.


It is critical to discover the mechanisms of normal cell cycle regulation if we are to fully understand what goes awry in cancer cells. The normal eukaryotic cell tightly regulates the activity of origins of DNA replication so that the genome is duplicated exactly once per cell cycle. Over the last ten years much has been learned concerning the cell cycle regulation of origin activity. It is now clear that the proteins and cell cycle mechanisms that control origin activity are largely conserved from yeast to humans. Despite this conservation, the composition of origins of DNA replication in higher eukaryotes remains ill defined. A DNA consensus for predicting origins has yet to emerge, and it is of some debate whether primary DNA sequence determines where replication initiates. In this review we outline what is known about origin structure and the mechanism of once per cell cycle DNA replication with an emphasis on recent advances in mammalian cells. We discuss the possible relevance of these regulatory pathways for cancer biology and therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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