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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2007 Jul;31(4):378-87. Epub 2007 Apr 25.

Regulation of the initiation of chromosomal replication in bacteria.

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Ludwik Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wrocław, Poland.


The initiation of chromosomal replication occurs only once during the cell cycle in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Initiation of chromosome replication is the first and tightly controlled step of a DNA synthesis. Bacterial chromosome replication is initiated at a single origin, oriC, by the initiator protein DnaA, which specifically interacts with 9-bp non-palindromic sequences (DnaA boxes) at oriC. In Escherichia coli, a model organism used to study the mechanism of DNA replication and its regulation, the control of initiation relies on a reduction of the availability and/or activity of the two key elements, DnaA and the oriC region. This review summarizes recent research into the regulatory mechanisms of the initiation of chromosomal replication in bacteria, with emphasis on organisms other than E. coli.

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