[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic origins of replication are selected by loading a head-to-head double hexamer of the Mcm2-7 replicative helicase around origin DNA. Cdt1 plays an essential but transient role during this event; however, its mechanism of action is unknown. Through analysis of Cdt1 mutations, we demonstrate that Cdt1 performs multiple functions during helicase loading. The C-terminus of Cdt1 binds Mcm2-7, and this interaction is required for efficient origin recruitment of both proteins. We show that origin recognition complex (ORC) and Cdc6 recruit multiple Cdt1 molecules to the origin during helicase loading, and disruption of this multi-Cdt1 intermediate prevents helicase loading. Although dispensable for loading Mcm2-7 double hexamers that are topologically linked to DNA, the essential N-terminal domain of Cdt1 is required to load Mcm2-7 complexes that are competent for association with the Cdc45 and GINS helicase-activating proteins and replication initiation. Our data support a model in which origin-bound ORC and Cdc6 recruit two Cdt1 molecules to initiate double-hexamer formation prior to helicase loading and demonstrate that Cdt1 influences the replication competence of loaded Mcm2-7 helicases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The loading of replicative helicases onto DNA is tightly regulated in all organisms, yet the molecular mechanisms for this event remain poorly defined. Remus et al. (2009) provide important insights into helicase loading in eukaryotes, showing that the Mcm2-7 replicative helicase encircles double-stranded DNA as head-to-head double hexamers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The essential S-phase kinase Cdc7-Dbf4 acts at eukaryotic origins of replication to trigger a cascade of protein associations that activate the Mcm2-7 replicative helicase. Also known as Dbf4-dependent kinase (DDK), this kinase preferentially targets chromatin-associated Mcm2-7 complexes that are assembled on the DNA during prereplicative complex (pre-RC) formation. Here we address the mechanisms that control the specificity of DDK action. We show that incorporation of Mcm2-7 into the pre-RC increased the level and changes the specificity of DDK phosphorylation of this complex. In the context of the pre-RC, DDK preferentially targets a conformationally distinct subpopulation of Mcm2-7 complexes that is tightly linked to the origin DNA. This targeting requires DDK to tightly associate with Mcm2-7 complexes in a Dbf4-dependent manner. Importantly, we find that DDK association with and phosphorylation of origin-linked Mcm2-7 complexes require prior phosphorylation of the pre-RC. Our findings provide insights into the mechanisms that ensure that DDK action is spatially and temporally restricted to the origin-bound Mcm2-7 complexes that will drive replication fork movement during S phase and suggest new mechanisms to regulate origin activity.
Preview · Article · Apr 2009 · Genes & development