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Access to the article is free, however registration and sign-in are required. Structures of proteins for DNA replication in archaea suggest common mechanisms with sliding clamp loaders and DNA helicases. The initial step in duplicating a cellular genome is the unwinding of a limited region of double-stranded DNA to form a small single-stranded DNA bubble. In bacteria, archaea, and lower eukaryotes, the unwinding process begins at a sequence called the replication origin, which contains several conserved binding sites for a protein called the initiator. Reports by Gaudier et al. and by Dueber et al. solve high-resolution structures of archaean initiator protein-origin DNA complexes that reveal several unexpected and novel features of initiator protein function.
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