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Review
, 8 (2)

Diversity of DNA Replication in the Archaea

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Review

Diversity of DNA Replication in the Archaea

Darya Ausiannikava et al. Genes (Basel).

Abstract

DNA replication is arguably the most fundamental biological process. On account of their shared evolutionary ancestry, the replication machinery found in archaea is similar to that found in eukaryotes. DNA replication is initiated at origins and is highly conserved in eukaryotes, but our limited understanding of archaea has uncovered a wide diversity of replication initiation mechanisms. Archaeal origins are sequence-based, as in bacteria, but are bound by initiator proteins that share homology with the eukaryotic origin recognition complex subunit Orc1 and helicase loader Cdc6). Unlike bacteria, archaea may have multiple origins per chromosome and multiple Orc1/Cdc6 initiator proteins. There is no consensus on how these archaeal origins are recognised- some are bound by a single Orc1/Cdc6 protein while others require a multi- Orc1/Cdc6 complex. Many archaeal genomes consist of multiple parts-the main chromosome plus several megaplasmids-and in polyploid species these parts are present in multiple copies. This poses a challenge to the regulation of DNA replication. However, one archaeal species (Haloferax volcanii) can survive without replication origins; instead, it uses homologous recombination as an alternative mechanism of initiation. This diversity in DNA replication initiation is all the more remarkable for having been discovered in only three groups of archaea where in vivo studies are possible.

Keywords: DNA replication; Haloferax; Orc1/Cdc6; Sulfolobus; archaea; replication origin.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funding sponsors had no role in the writing of the manuscript.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Current view of the archaeal phylogenetic tree. Based on [6,7]. The groups in which in vivo replication initiation studies have been undertaken are underlined.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Binding of Orc1/Cdc6 proteins at origins of archaeal chromosomes. (A) Aeropyrum pernix Cdc6-1 binds to oriC1 as a monomer; binding to the origin oriC2 has not been investigated; (B) Cdc6-1, Cdc6-2, and Cdc6-3 of Sulfolobus solfataricus binds more than one origin each; (C) Replication initiation proteins of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius bind only one origin each. Similar to S. acidocaldarius, initiation proteins in Sulfolobus islandicus bind only one origin each.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Serial deletion of orc genes or origins in different archaeal species. The highest number of orc/origin deletions possible in one strain is shown. Chromosomes are not drawn to scale.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Recombination-dependent replication initiation. The invading 3′ DNA end of a displacement loop (D-loop) recombination intermediate is used as a primer for leading strand DNA synthesis. Formation of a D-loop requires a RecA-family recombinase.

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