Conserved Initiator Proteins in Eukaryotes

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Science  08 Dec 1995:
Vol. 270, Issue 5242, pp. 1667-1671
DOI: 10.1126/science.270.5242.1667


The origin recognition complex (ORC), a multisubunit protein identified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, binds to chromosomal replicators and is required for the initiation of cellular DNA replication. Complementary DNAs (cDNAs) encoding proteins related to the two largest subunits of ORC were cloned from various eukaryotes. The cDNAs encoding proteins related to S. cerevisiae Orc1p were cloned from the budding yeast Kluyveromyces lactis, the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe,and human cells. These proteins show similarity to regulators of the S and M phases of the cell cycle. Genetic analysis of orc1+ from S. pombe reveals that it is essential for cell viability. The cDNAs encoding proteins related to S. cerevisiae Orc2p were cloned from Arabidopsis thaliana, Caenorhabditis elegans, and human cells. The human ORC-related proteins interact in vivo to form a complex. These studies suggest that ORC subunits are conserved and that the role of ORC is a general feature of eukaryotic DNA replication.

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