Eukaryotic cells divide by accomplishing a program of events in which the replication of the genome is a fundamental part. To ensure all cells have an accurate copy of the genome, DNA replication occurs only once per cell cycle and is controlled by numerous pathways. A key step in this process is the initiation of DNA replication in which certain regions of DNA are marked as competent to replicate. Moreover, initiation of DNA replication needs to be coordinated with other cell cycle processes. At the molecular level, initiation of DNA replication relies, among other mechanisms, upon post-translational modifications, including the conjugation and hydrolysis of ubiquitin. An example is the precise control of the levels of the DNA replication initiation protein Cdt1 and its inhibitor Geminin by ubiquitin-mediated proteasomal degradation. This control ensures that DNA replication occurs with the right timing during the cell cycle, thereby avoiding re-replication events. Here, we review the events that involve ubiquitin signalling during DNA replication initiation, and how they are linked to human disease.
Keywords: DNA replication Initiation; proteasome; ubiquitin; ubiquitin hydrolases; ubiquitin ligases.