Where it all starts: Eukaryotic origins of DNA replication

Anja Katrin Bielinsky, Susan A. Gerbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Chromosomal origins of DNA replication in eukaryotic cells not only are crucial for understanding the basic process of DNA duplication but also provide a tool to analyze how cell cycle regulators are linked to the replication machinery. During the past decade much progress has been made in identifying replication origins in eukaryotic genomes. More recently, replication initiation point (RIP) mapping has allowed us to detect start sites for DNA synthesis at the nucleotide level and thus to monitor replication initiation events at the origin very precisely. Beyond giving us the precise positions of start sites, the application of RIP mapping in yeast and human cells has revealed a single, defined start point at which replication initiates, a scenario very reminiscent of transcription initiation. More importantly, studies in yeast have shown that the binding site for the initiator, the origin recognition complex (ORC), lies immediately adjacent to the replication start point, which suggests that ORC directs the initiation machinery to a distinct site. Therefore, in our pursuit of identifying ORC-binding sites in higher eukaryotes, RIP mapping may lead the way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-651
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Cell cycle control
  • DNA replication
  • Eukaryotic origins
  • ORC binding
  • RIP mapping


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