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Phys Biol. 2008 Sep 29;5(3):036012. doi: 10.1088/1478-3975/5/3/036012.

Structural properties of replication origins in yeast DNA sequences.

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  • 1School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue 83, Hong Kong.


Sequence-dependent DNA flexibility is an important structural property originating from the DNA 3D structure. In this paper, we investigate the DNA flexibility of the budding yeast (S. Cerevisiae) replication origins on a genome-wide scale using flexibility parameters from two different models, the trinucleotide and the tetranucleotide models. Based on analyzing average flexibility profiles of 270 replication origins, we find that yeast replication origins are significantly rigid compared with their surrounding genomic regions. To further understand the highly distinctive property of replication origins, we compare the flexibility patterns between yeast replication origins and promoters, and find that they both contain significantly rigid DNAs. Our results suggest that DNA flexibility is an important factor that helps proteins recognize and bind the target sites in order to initiate DNA replication. Inspired by the role of the rigid region in promoters, we speculate that the rigid replication origins may facilitate binding of proteins, including the origin recognition complex (ORC), Cdc6, Cdt1 and the MCM2-7 complex.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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