Pre-replication complexes (pre-RCs) are assembled onto DNA during late mitosis and G to license replication origins for use in S phase. In order to prevent re-replication of DNA, licensing must be completely shutdown prior to entry into S phase. While mechanisms preventing re-replication during S phase and mitosis have been elucidated, the means by which cells first prevent licensing during late G phase are poorly understood. We have employed a hybrid mammalian/Xenopus egg extract replication system to dissect activities that inhibit replication licensing at different stages of the cell cycle in Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells. We find that soluble extracts from mitotic cells inhibit licensing through a combination of geminin and Cdk activities, while extracts from S-phase cells inhibit licensing predominantly through geminin alone. Surprisingly however, geminin did not accumulate until after cells entered S phase. Unlike extracts from cells in early G phase, extracts from late G phase and early S phase cells contained an inhibitor of licensing that could not be accounted for by either geminin or Cdk. Moreover, inhibiting cyclin and geminin protein synthesis or inhibiting Cdk activity early in G phase did not prevent the appearance of this licensing inhibitory activity. These results suggest that a soluble inhibitor of replication licensing appears prior to entry into S phase that is distinct from either geminin or Cdk activity. Our hybrid system should permit the identification of this and other novel cell cycle regulatory activities.
- Cell cycle