The DnaA Tale

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2018Researchpeer-review



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More than 50 years have passed since the presentation of the Replicon Model which states that a positively acting initiator interacts with a specific site on a circular chromosome molecule to initiate DNA replication. Since then, the origin of chromosome replication, oriC, has been determined as a specific region that carries sequences required for binding of positively acting initiator proteins, DnaA-boxes and DnaA proteins, respectively. In this review we will give a historical overview of significant findings which have led to the very detailed knowledge we now possess about the initiation process in bacteria using Escherichia coli as the model organism, but emphasizing that virtually all bacteria have DnaA proteins that interacts with DnaA boxes to initiate chromosome replication. We will discuss the dnaA gene regulation, the special features of the dnaA gene expression, promoter strength, and translation efficiency, as well as, the DnaA protein, its concentration, its binding to DnaA-boxes, and its binding of ATP or ADP. Furthermore, we will discuss the different models for regulation of initiation which have been proposed over the years, with particular emphasis on the Initiator Titration Model.
Original languageEnglish
Article number319
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2018 Hansen and Atlung. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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    Research areas

  • DnaA ADP/ATP, DnaA box, DnaA protein, Cell cycle, dnaA gene, Initiation control models, Initiator titration, oriC

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