Changes in association of the Xenopus origin recognition complex with chromatin on licensing of replication origins

Alison Rowles, Shusuke Tada, J. Julian Blow

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During late mitosis and early G1, a series of proteins are assembled onto replication origins that results in them becoming 'licensed' for replication in the subsequent S phase. In Xenopus this first involves the assembly onto chromatin of the Xenopus origin recognition complex XORC, and then XCdc6, and finally the RLF-M component of the replication licensing system. In this paper we examine changes in the way that XORC associates with chromatin in the Xenopus cell-free system as origins become licensed. Restricting the quantity of XORC on chromatin reduced the extent of replication as expected if a single molecule of XORC is sufficient to specify a single replication origin. During metaphase, XOrc1 associated only weakly with chromatin. In early interphase, XOrc1 formed a strong complex with chromatin, as evidenced by its resistance to elution by 200 mM salt, and this state persisted when XCdc6 was assembled onto the chromatin. As a consequence of origins becoming licensed the association of XOrc1 and XCdc6 with chromatin was destabilised, and XOrc1 became susceptible to removal from chromatin by exposure to either high salt or high Cdk levels. At this stage the essential function for XORC and XCdc6 in DNA replication had already been fulfilled. Since high Cdk levels are required for the initiation of DNA replication, this 'licensing-dependent origin inactivation' may contribute to mechanisms that prevent re-licensing of replication origins once S phase has started.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2011-2018
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 1999

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