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Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 1997;32(6):503-68.

The initiation of simian virus 40 DNA replication in vitro.

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Department of Biochemistry, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


DNA replication is a complicated process that is largely regulated during stages of initiation. The Siman Virus 40 in vitro replication system has served as an excellent model for studies of the initiation of DNA replication, and its regulation, in eukaryotes. Initiation of SV40 replication requires a single viral protein termed T-antigen, all other proteins are supplied by the host. The recent determination of the solution structure of the T-antigen domain that recognizes the SV40 origin has provided significant insights into the initiation process. For example, it has afforded a clearer understanding of origin recognition, T-antigen oligomerization, and DNA unwinding. Furthermore, the Simian virus 40 in vitro replication system has been used to study nascent DNA formation in the vicinity of the viral origin of replication. Among the conclusions drawn from these experiments is that nascent DNA synthesis does not initiate in the core origin in vitro and that Okazaki fragment formation is complex. These and related studies demonstrate that significant progress has been made in understanding the initiation of DNA synthesis at the molecular level.

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