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Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Aug;28(16):5071-81. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00206-08. Epub 2008 Jun 23.

Analysis of chromosome III replicators reveals an unusual structure for the ARS318 silencer origin and a conserved WTW sequence within the origin recognition complex binding site.

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Laboratory of Chromosome Replication, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA.


Saccharomyces cerevisiae chromosome III encodes 11 autonomously replicating sequence (ARS) elements that function as chromosomal replicators. The essential 11-bp ARS consensus sequence (ACS) that binds the origin recognition complex (ORC) has been experimentally defined for most of these replicators but not for ARS318 (HMR-I), which is one of the HMR silencers. In this study, we performed a comprehensive linker scan analysis of ARS318. Unexpectedly, this replicator depends on a 9/11-bp match to the ACS that positions the ORC binding site only 6 bp away from an Abf1p binding site. Although a largely inactive replicator on the chromosome, ARS318 becomes active if the nearby HMR-E silencer is deleted. We also performed a multiple sequence alignment of confirmed replicators on chromosomes III, VI, and VII. This analysis revealed a highly conserved WTW motif 17 to 19 bp from the ACS that is functionally important and is apparent in the 228 phylogenetically conserved ARS elements among the six sensu stricto Saccharomyces species.

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