Eukaryotic DNA replication: from pre-replication complex to initiation complex

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2000 Dec;12(6):690-6. doi: 10.1016/s0955-0674(00)00153-8.


A common mechanism has emerged for the control of the initiation of eukaryotic DNA replication. The minichromosome maintenance protein complex (MCM) and Cdc45 have now been recognized as central components of the initiation machinery. In addition, two types of S phase promoting kinases conserved between yeast and humans play critical roles in the initiation reaction. At the onset of S phase, S phase kinases promote the association of Cdc45 with MCM at origins. Upon the formation of the MCM-Cdc45 complex at origins, the duplex DNA is unwound and various replication proteins, including DNA polymerases, are recruited onto unwound DNA. The increasing number of newly identified factors involved in the initiation reaction indicates that the control of initiation requires highly evolved machinery in eukaryotic cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • DNA Helicases / metabolism
  • DNA Polymerase II / metabolism
  • DNA Replication / physiology*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Eukaryotic Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Peptide Chain Initiation, Translational / physiology*
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*


  • CDC45 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromatin
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • DPB11 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Protein Kinases
  • DNA Polymerase II
  • DNA Helicases