We recently showed that replication initiates in the early S period at two closely spaced zones in the 240-kilobase (kb) dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) amplicon of the methotrexate-resistant Chinese hamster ovary cell line CHOC 400. Both of these initiation loci (ori-beta and ori-gamma) have previously been cloned in a recombinant cosmid. In this study, we identified a third early-firing initiation locus (ori-alpha) in the much larger DHFR amplicon of the independently isolated methotrexate-resistant Chinese hamster cell line DC3F-A3/4K (A3/4K). We describe the molecular cloning of this newly identified locus and demonstrate by chromosomal walking that ori-alpha lies ~ 240 kb upstream from ori-beta. Using overlapping cosmid clones for more than 450 kb of DNA sequence from this region of the DHFR domain, we have monitored the replication pattern of the amplicons in synchronized A3/4K cells. These studies suggest that ori-alpha, ori-beta, and ori-gamma are the only early-firing initiation sites in this 450-kb sequence. In addition, we have been able to roughly localize the termini between ori-alpha and ori-beta and between ori-alpha and the next origin in the 5' direction. Thus, we have now isolated the equivalent of three early-firing replicons (including their origins) from a well-characterized chromosomal domain. With these tools, it should be possible to determine those properties that are shared by the origins and termini of different replicons and which are therefore likely to be functionally significant.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology