Activation of the replicative DNA helicase: breaking up is hard to do


The precise duplication of the eukaryotic genome is accomplished by carefully coordinating the loading and activation of the replicative DNA helicase so that each replication origin is unwound and assembles functional bi-directional replisomes just once in each cell cycle. The essential Minichromosome Maintenance 2-7 (Mcm2-7) proteins, comprising the core of the replicative DNA helicase, are first loaded at replication origins in an inactive form. The helicase is then activated by recruitment of the Cdc45 and GINS proteins into a holo-helicase known as CMG (Cdc45, Mcm2-7, GINS). These steps are regulated by multiple mechanisms to ensure that Mcm2-7 loading can only occur during G1 phase, whilst activation of Mcm2-7 cannot occur during G1 phase. Here we review recent progress in understanding these critical reactions focusing on the mechanism of helicase loading and activation.

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Volume 24
Issue number 3
Pages 423-430
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