Control of DNA replication by anomalous reaction-diffusion kinetics

Phys Rev Lett. 2009 Apr 17;102(15):158104. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.102.158104. Epub 2009 Apr 16.


We propose a simple model for the control of DNA replication in which the rate of initiation of replication origins is controlled by protein-DNA interactions. Analyzing recent data from Xenopus frog embryos, we find that the initiation rate is reaction limited until nearly the end of replication, when it becomes diffusion limited. Initiation of origins is suppressed when the diffusion-limited search time dominates. To fit the experimental data, we find that the interaction between DNA and the rate-limiting protein must be subdiffusive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Replication*
  • Diffusion
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / cytology
  • Kinetics
  • Xenopus / embryology