The committed step of eukaryotic DNA replication occurs when the pairs of Mcm2-7 replicative helicases that license each replication origin are activated. Helicase activation requires the recruitment of Cdc45 and GINS to Mcm2-7, forming Cdc45-Mcm2-7-GINS complexes (CMGs). Using single-molecule biochemical assays to monitor CMG formation, we found that Cdc45 and GINS are recruited to loaded Mcm2-7 in two stages. Initially, Cdc45, GINS, and likely additional proteins are recruited to unstructured Mcm2-7 N-terminal tails in a Dbf4-dependent kinase (DDK)-dependent manner, forming Cdc45-tail-GINS intermediates (CtGs). DDK phosphorylation of multiple phosphorylation sites on the Mcm2‑7 tails modulates the number of CtGs formed per Mcm2-7. In a second, inefficient event, a subset of CtGs transfer their Cdc45 and GINS components to form CMGs. Importantly, higher CtG multiplicity increases the frequency of CMG formation. Our findings reveal molecular mechanisms sensitizing helicase activation to DDK levels with implications for control of replication origin efficiency and timing.
- Stephen P Bell
- Stephen P Bell
- Jeff Gelles
- Lorraine De Jesus Kim
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Michael R Botchan, University of California, Berkeley, United States
- Received: December 4, 2020
- Accepted: February 21, 2021
- Accepted Manuscript published: February 22, 2021 (version 1)
© 2021, De Jesus Kim et al.
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