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Mol Cell Biol. 1991 Mar;11(3):1464-72.

Replication initiates at multiple locations on an autonomously replicating plasmid in human cells.

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Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305.


We have used a two-dimensional gel electrophoresis mapping technique to determine where DNA replication initiates on a plasmid which utilizes a fragment of human DNA to replicate autonomously in human cells. Replication was found to initiate at multiple locations on the plasmid carrying the human sequence, in contrast to the pattern seen for an Epstein-Barr virus vector which served as a control with a fixed origin. The family of repeats, a portion of the Epstein-Barr virus origin of replication which is present our plasmid, was shown to function as a replication fork barrier. The nature of the stalled replicative intermediates on the human DNA-based plasmid further indicated that replication did not initiate at a single fixed position each time the plasmid replicated. The results suggest that the replication apparatus used to duplicate DNA in human cells may not have precise sequence requirements which target initiation to specific locations.

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