Re-replication in the Absence of Replication Licensing Mechanisms in Drosophila Melanogaster

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Ding, Queying


MacAlpine, David M

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To ensure genomic integrity, the genome must be accurately duplicated once and only once per cell division. DNA replication is tightly regulated by replication licensing mechanisms which ensure that origins only initiate replication once per cell cycle. Disruption of replication licensing mechanisms may lead to re-replication and genomic instability.

DNA licensing involves two steps including the assembly of the pre-replicative compelx at origins in G1 and the activation of pre-RC in S-phase. Cdt1, also known as Double-parked (Dup) in Drosophila Menalogaster , is a key regulator of the assembly of pre-RC and its activity is strictly limited to G1 by multiple mechanisms including Cul4Ddb1 mediated proteolysis and inhibitory binding by geminin. Previous studies have indicated that when the balance between Cdt1 and geminin is disrupted, re-replication occurs but the genome is only partially re-replicated. The exact sequences that are re-replicated and the mechanisms contributing to partial re-replication are unknown. To address these two questions, I assayed the genomic consequences of deregulating the replication licensing mechanisms by either RNAi depletion of geminin or Dup over-expression in cultured Drosophila Kc167 cells. In agreement with previously reported re-replication studies, I found that not all sequences were sensitive to geminin depletion or Dup over-expression. Microarray analysis and quantitative PCR revealed that heterochromatic sequences were preferentially re-replicated when Dup was deregulated either by geminin depletion or Dup over-expression. The preferential re-activation of heterochromatic replication origins was unexpected because these origins are typically the last sequences to be duplicated during normal S-phase.

In the case of geminin depletion, immunofluorescence studies indicated that the re-replication of heterochromatin was regulated not at the level of pre-RC activation, but rather due to the restricted formation of the pre-RC to the heterochromatin. Unlike the global assembly of the pre-RC that occurs throughout the genome in G1, in the absence of geminin, limited pre-RC assembly was restricted to the heterochromatin. Elevated cyclin A-CDK activity during S-phase could be one mechanism that prevents pre-RC reassembly at euchromatin when geminin is absent. These results suggest that there are chromatin and cell cycle specific controls that regulate the re-assembly of the pre-RC outside of G1.

In contrast to the specific re-replication of heterochromatin when geminin is absent, re-replication induced by Dup over-expression is not restricted to heterochromatin but rather includes re-activation of origins throughout the genome, although there is a slight preference for heterochromatin when re-replication is initiated. Surprisingly, Dup over-expression in G2 arrested cells result in a complete endoreduplication. In contrast to the ordered replication of euchromatin and heterochromatin during early and late S-phase respectively, endoreduplication induced by Dup over-expression does not exhibit any temporal order of replication initiation from these two types of chromatin, suggesting replication timing program may be uncoupled from local chromatin environment. Taken together, these findings suggest that the maintenance of proper levels of Dup protein is critical for genome integrity.





Ding, Queying (2011). Re-replication in the Absence of Replication Licensing Mechanisms in Drosophila Melanogaster. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from


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