Open Access
DNA replication licensing
H Nishitani1,Z Lygerou1
Department of Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, 812-8582, Japan.
DOI: 10.2741/1315 Volume 9 Issue 3, pp.2115-2132
Published: 01 September 2004

The DNA replication licensing system ensures that chromosomal DNA is replicated precisely once before cell division occurs. A DNA helicase must be loaded on origin DNA for replication to initiate. Considerable evidence suggests that the MCM complex acts as a replicative helicase in eukaryotes. When the MCM complex is loaded on the chromatin, the replication origin is formally defined as being licensed for replication. Licensing takes place several hours before origins are activated to undergo replication in S-phase. Genetic and biochemical studies show that the licensing process is well conserved in eukaryotes. Cyclin Dependent Kinases (CDKs), the master regulators of the cell cycle, coordinate the initiation of the two key cell cycle events, replication of DNA and its segregation at mitosis. Eukaryotes have developed complex regulatory mechanisms to ensure that origin licensing is coordinated with these events so that genome integrity is preserved during successive cell divisions.

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H Nishitani, Z Lygerou. DNA replication licensing. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark. 2004. 9(3); 2115-2132.