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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Emerging players in the initiation of eukaryotic DNA replication

Zhen Shen and Supriya G Prasanth*

Author Affiliations

Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 601 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

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Cell Division 2012, 7:22  doi:10.1186/1747-1028-7-22

Published: 17 October 2012


Faithful duplication of the genome in eukaryotes requires ordered assembly of a multi-protein complex called the pre-replicative complex (pre-RC) prior to S phase; transition to the pre-initiation complex (pre-IC) at the beginning of DNA replication; coordinated progression of the replisome during S phase; and well-controlled regulation of replication licensing to prevent re-replication. These events are achieved by the formation of distinct protein complexes that form in a cell cycle-dependent manner. Several components of the pre-RC and pre-IC are highly conserved across all examined eukaryotic species. Many of these proteins, in addition to their bona fide roles in DNA replication are also required for other cell cycle events including heterochromatin organization, chromosome segregation and centrosome biology. As the complexity of the genome increases dramatically from yeast to human, additional proteins have been identified in higher eukaryotes that dictate replication initiation, progression and licensing. In this review, we discuss the newly discovered components and their roles in cell cycle progression.

ORC; ORCA/LRWD1; Cdt1; Geminin; MCM; Pre-RC; Pre-IC; RPC; Non-coding RNA; DNA replication