Current Genetics

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 357–363 | Cite as

The dual role of autonomously replicating sequences as origins of replication and as silencers

  • Muhammad Attiq Rehman
  • Krassimir YankulovEmail author


Autonomously replicating sequences (ARSs) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae have been extensively characterized as both origins of DNA replication and as chromatin repressors/silencers. It has been conclusively shown that the origin and the silencer activities of ARS are substantially, but not entirely interchangeable and that they are modulated by position effects and chromatin environment. It remains unclear how these two quite divergent functions of ARS co-exist. This perspective focuses on recent advances, which have shown that slight differences in ARSs can modulate their affinity for origin recognition complex and their activity as silencers or origins.


ARS DNA replication Gene silencing ORC 



Autonomously replicating sequence


ARS consensus sequence


Silent information regulator


Origin recognition complex


Mini-chromosome maintenance


pre-replicative complex



M.A.R. and K.Y. are supported by a grant from NSERC, Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular and Cellular BiologyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  2. 2.Laboratory of Gene Regulation and DevelopmentNational Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIHBethesdaUSA

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