DNA replication origin activation in space and time

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2015 Jun;16(6):360-74. doi: 10.1038/nrm4002.


DNA replication begins with the assembly of pre-replication complexes (pre-RCs) at thousands of DNA replication origins during the G1 phase of the cell cycle. At the G1-S-phase transition, pre-RCs are converted into pre-initiation complexes, in which the replicative helicase is activated, leading to DNA unwinding and initiation of DNA synthesis. However, only a subset of origins are activated during any S phase. Recent insights into the mechanisms underlying this choice reveal how flexibility in origin usage and temporal activation are linked to chromosome structure and organization, cell growth and differentiation, and replication stress.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Chromosomes, Human / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Human / metabolism
  • DNA / biosynthesis*
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA Replication / physiology*
  • G1 Phase / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Replication Origin / physiology*
  • S Phase / physiology*


  • DNA