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Front Biosci. 2004 Sep 1;9:2115-32.

DNA replication licensing.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, 812-8582, Japan.


The DNA replication licensing system ensures that chromosomal DNA is replicated precisely once before cell division occurs. A DNA helicase must be loaded on origin DNA for replication to initiate. Considerable evidence suggests that the MCM complex acts as a replicative helicase in eukaryotes. When the MCM complex is loaded on the chromatin, the replication origin is formally defined as being licensed for replication. Licensing takes place several hours before origins are activated to undergo replication in S-phase. Genetic and biochemical studies show that the licensing process is well conserved in eukaryotes. Cyclin Dependent Kinases (CDKs), the master regulators of the cell cycle, coordinate the initiation of the two key cell cycle events, replication of DNA and its segregation at mitosis. Eukaryotes have developed complex regulatory mechanisms to ensure that origin licensing is coordinated with these events so that genome integrity is preserved during successive cell divisions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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