The MCM proteins identify a group of ten conserved factors functioning in the replication of the genomes of archae and eukaryotic organisms. Among these, MCM2-7 proteins are related to each other and form a family of DNA helicases implicated at the initiation step of DNA synthesis. Recently this family expanded by the identification of two additional members that appear to be present only in multicellular organisms, MCM8 and MCM9. The function of MCM8 is distinct from that of MCM2-7 proteins, while the function of MCM9 is unknown. MCM1 and MCM10 are not related to this family, nor to each other, but also function in DNA synthesis.