Microcephaly represents one of the most obvious clinical manifestations of impaired neurogenesis. Defects in the DNA damage response, in DNA repair, and structural abnormalities in centrosomes, centrioles and the spindle microtubule network have all been demonstrated to cause microcephaly in humans. Work describing novel functional defects in cell lines from individuals with either Meier-Gorlin syndrome or Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome highlight the significance of optimal DNA replication and S phase progression for normal human development, including neurogenesis. These findings illustrate how different primary defects in processes impacting upon DNA replication potentially influence similar phenotypic outcomes, including growth retardation and microcephaly. Herein, we will describe the nature of the S phase defects uncovered for each of these conditions and highlight some of the overlapping cellular features.
Keywords: DNA replication; Dormant origins; Microcephaly; Nucleosome assembly; Origin licensing.
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