In the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, DNA replication initiates at specific, discrete chromosomal locations. At each initiation site, a single small replication bubble is generated, which subsequently expands at Y-like replication forks. We wanted to know whether other eukaryotic organisms utilize similar initiation mechanisms. For this purpose, replication intermediates (RIs) from three different organisms (Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Chinese hamster and human) were mixed individually with RIs from S. cerevisiae and then subjected to two-dimensional (2D) gel electrophoresis under conditions known to resolve molecules having different structures. All of the RIs detected by the hybridization probes we used for each organism migrated nearly identically to specific RIs of similar size from S. cerevisiae, implying that the detected RIs from all the studied organisms have very similar structures and may therefore employ the same basic initiation mechanism.
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