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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The roles of the MCM, ORC, and Cdc6 proteins in determining the replication competence of chromatin in quiescent cells.

Most eukaryotic cell types can withdraw from proliferative cell cycles and remain quiescent for extended periods. Intact nuclei isolated from quiescent murine NIH3T3 cells fail to replicate in vitro when incubated in Xenopus egg extracts, although intact nuclei from proliferating cells replicate well. Permeabilization of the nuclear envelope rescues the ability of quiescent nuclei to replicate in the extract. We show that origin replication complex (ORC), minichromosome maintenance (MCM), and Cdc6 proteins are all present in early quiescent cells. Immunodepletion of Cdc6 or the MCM complex from Xenopus egg extract inhibits replication of permeable, quiescent, but not proliferating, NIH3T3 nuclei. Immunoblotting results demonstrate that mouse homologues of Mcm2, Mcm5, and Cdc6 are displaced from chromatin in quiescent cells. However, this absence of chromatin-bound Cdc6 and MCM proteins from quiescent cells appears not to be due to the absence of ORC subunits as murine homologues of Orc1 and Orc2 remain chromatin-bound in quiescent cells. Surprisingly, intact quiescent nuclei fail to bind exogenously added XCdc6 or to replicate in Xenopus egg extracts immunodepleted of ORC, even though G1- or S-phase nuclei still replicate in these extracts. Our results identify Cdc6 and the MCM complex as essential replication components absent from quiescent chromatin due to nonfunctional chromatin-bound ORC proteins. These results can explain why quiescent mammalian nuclei are unable to replicate in vivo and in Xenopus egg extracts.[1]


  1. The roles of the MCM, ORC, and Cdc6 proteins in determining the replication competence of chromatin in quiescent cells. Madine, M.A., Swietlik, M., Pelizon, C., Romanowski, P., Mills, A.D., Laskey, R.A. J. Struct. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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