Identification of a compound origin of replication at the HMR-E locus in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Simi T. Hurst, David H. Rivier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Eukaryotic chromosomal origins of replication are best defined in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Previous analysis of yeast origins suggests that they are relatively simple structures comprised of three or four small DNA sequence elements contained within approximately 100-200-base pair regions (Gilbert, D. M. (1998) Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev. 8, 194-199). In contrast, the sequence elements that may comprise origins in multicellular eukaryotes are largely unknown. The yeast HMR-E region is both a chromosomal origin of replication and a silencer that represses transcription of adjacent genes through a position effect. The analysis presented here indicated that HMR-E had a novel DNA structure that was more complex than defined for other yeast origins, and thus revealed that there is variation in the structural complexity of yeast origins. In contrast to 'simple' yeast origins, the origin at HMR-E consisted of at least three independent subregions that had the capacity to initiate replication. We have termed HMR-E a compound origin to reflect its structural complexity. Furthermore, only one origin within the compound origin was a silencer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4155-4159
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 12 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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