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Mol Cell. 2006 Jan 6;21(1):29-39.

Sequential ATP hydrolysis by Cdc6 and ORC directs loading of the Mcm2-7 helicase.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Loading of the Mcm2-7 DNA replicative helicase onto origin-proximal DNA is a critical and tightly regulated event during the initiation of eukaryotic DNA replication. The resulting protein-DNA assembly is called the prereplicative complex (pre-RC), and its formation requires the origin recognition complex (ORC), Cdc6, Cdt1, and ATP. ATP hydrolysis by ORC is required for multiple rounds of Mcm2-7 loading. Here, we investigate the role of ATP hydrolysis by Cdc6 during pre-RC assembly. We find that Cdc6 is an ORC- and origin DNA-dependent ATPase that functions at a step preceding ATP hydrolysis by ORC. Inhibiting Cdc6 ATP hydrolysis stabilizes Cdt1 on origin DNA and prevents Mcm2-7 loading. In contrast, the initial association of Mcm2-7 with the other pre-RC components does not require ATP hydrolysis by Cdc6. Importantly, these coordinated yet distinct functions of ORC and Cdc6 ensure the correct temporal and spatial regulation of pre-RC formation.

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