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1.  Low rate of replication fork progression lengthens the replication timing of a locus containing an early firing origin 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;35(17):5763-5774.
Invariance of temporal order of genome replication in eukaryotic cells and its correlation with gene activity has been well-documented. However, recent data suggest a relax control of replication timing. To evaluate replication schedule accuracy, we detailed the replicational organization of the developmentally regulated php locus that we previously found to be lately replicated, even though php gene is highly transcribed in naturally synchronous plasmodia of Physarum. Unexpectedly, bi-dimensional agarose gel electrophoreses of DNA samples prepared at specific time points of S phase showed that replication of the locus actually begins at the onset of S phase but it proceeds through the first half of S phase, so that complete replication of php-containing DNA fragments occurs in late S phase. Origin mapping located replication initiation upstream php coding region. This proximity and rapid fork progression through the coding region result in an early replication of php gene. We demonstrated that afterwards an unusually low fork rate and unidirectional fork pausing prolong complete replication of php locus, and we excluded random replication timing. Importantly, we evidenced that the origin linked to php gene in plasmodium is not fired in amoebae when php expression dramatically reduced, further illustrating replication-transcription coupling in Physarum.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkm586
PMCID: PMC2034475  PMID: 17717000
2.  Replicational organization of three weakly expressed loci in Physarum polycephalum 
Nucleic Acids Research  2002;30(11):2261-2269.
We previously mapped early-activated replication origins in the promoter regions of five abundantly transcribed genes in the slime mold Physarum polycephalum. This physical linkage between origins and genes is congruent with the preferential early replication of the active genes in mammalian cells. To determine how general this replicational organization is in the synchronous plasmodium of Physarum, we analyzed the replication of three weakly expressed genes. Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdUrd) density-shift and gene dosage experiments indicated that the redB (regulated in development) and redE genes replicate early, whereas redA replicates in mid-S phase. Bi-dimensional gel electrophoresis revealed that redA coincides with an origin that appears to be activated within a large temporal window in S phase so that the replication of the gene is not well defined temporally. The early replication of the redB and redE genes is due to the simultaneous activation of flanking origins at the onset of S phase. As a result, these two genes correspond to termination sites of DNA replication. Our data demonstrate that not all the Physarum promoters are preferred sites of initiation but, so far, all the expressed genes analyzed in detail either coincide with a replication origin or are embedded into a cluster of early firing replicons.
PMCID: PMC117180  PMID: 12034812

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