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Review

Dimerization of Firing Factors for Replication Origin Activation in Eukaryotes: A Crucial Process for Simultaneous Assembly of Bidirectional Replication Forks?

School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Kochi University of Technology, Kami 782-8502, Japan
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Academic Editor: Dominik Boos
Biology 2022, 11(6), 928; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060928
Received: 20 May 2022 / Revised: 13 June 2022 / Accepted: 15 June 2022 / Published: 17 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MTBP-Cellular Roles Underlying Cancer Formation and Disease)
Chromosomal DNA must be faithfully duplicated and segregated into two daughter cells when cells divide. DNA synthesis initiates from specific regions known as the origins of replication. When it starts, a pair of the replication fork is established, and each replication fork moves away from replication origins. In each replication fork, replicative helicase unwinds DNA from a double to a single strand. This implies that two sets of active helicase are generated from each replication origin. To make this possible, two sets of replicative helicases are loaded onto replication origins as inactive dimers first. When S-phase specific cyclin-dependent kinases, S-CDKs, are activated, the inactive helicase is converted into the active helicase with the aid of other factors called firing factors. Although two sets of firing factors seem to be required to activate two sets of helicase, it is largely unknown whether two sets of firing factors function simultaneously to establish bidirectional replication forks in a coordinated way. We introduce our current understanding of firing factor dimerization and discuss its potential contribution to bidirectional replication fork formation in this review.
Controlling the activity of the heterohexameric Mcm2–7 replicative helicase is crucial for regulation of replication origin activity in eukaryotes. Because bidirectional replication forks are generated from every replication origin, when origins are licensed for replication in the first step of DNA replication, two inactive Mcm2–7 heterohexiameric complexes are loaded around double stranded DNA as a head-to-head double hexamer. The helicases are subsequently activated via a ‘firing’ reaction, in which the Mcm2–7 double hexamer is converted into two active helicase units, the CMG complex, by firing factors. Dimerization of firing factors may contribute to this process by allowing simultaneous activation of two sets of helicases and thus efficient assembly of bidirectional replication forks. An example of this is dimerization of the firing factor Sld3/Treslin/Ticrr via its binding partner, Sld7/MTBP. In organisms in which no Sld7 ortholog has been identified, such as the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Sld3 itself has a dimerization domain, and it has been suggested that this self-interaction is crucial for the firing reaction in this organism. Dimerization induces a conformational change in Sdl3 that appears to be critical for the firing reaction. Moreover, Mcm10 also seems to be regulated by self-interaction in yeasts. Although it is not yet clear to what extent dimerization of firing factors contributes to the firing reaction in eukaryotes, we discuss the possible roles of firing factor dimerization in simultaneous helicase activation. View Full-Text
Keywords: DNA replication; origin firing; bidirectional replication; Sld3/Treslin/Ticrr; Sld7/MTBP DNA replication; origin firing; bidirectional replication; Sld3/Treslin/Ticrr; Sld7/MTBP
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tanaka, S.; Ogawa, S. Dimerization of Firing Factors for Replication Origin Activation in Eukaryotes: A Crucial Process for Simultaneous Assembly of Bidirectional Replication Forks? Biology 2022, 11, 928. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060928

AMA Style

Tanaka S, Ogawa S. Dimerization of Firing Factors for Replication Origin Activation in Eukaryotes: A Crucial Process for Simultaneous Assembly of Bidirectional Replication Forks? Biology. 2022; 11(6):928. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060928

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tanaka, Seiji, and Shiho Ogawa. 2022. "Dimerization of Firing Factors for Replication Origin Activation in Eukaryotes: A Crucial Process for Simultaneous Assembly of Bidirectional Replication Forks?" Biology 11, no. 6: 928. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060928

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