Congratulations to Professor Julian Blow: Two new Blow Lab papers examine different aspects of DNA replication

A recent paper by the Blow lab examines how replication origins are licensed for use prior to entry into S phase. In Gambus, A., Khoudoli, G.A., Jones, R.C., and Blow, J.J. (2011) “MCM2-7 form double hexamers at licensed origins in xenopus egg extract” published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry researchers show that MCM2-7, which form the core component of the replication machinery, are loaded onto DNA as double hexamers. This provides a configuration potentially capable of initiating a pair of replication forks that progress bi-directionally away from the origin when it is activated in S phase.

Another Blow Lab paper published this month in Molecular Cell is the result of a collaboration with Shusuke Tada and colleagues, examining the loading of the chromatin remodelling complex FACT onto DNA. Kundu, L.R., Seki, M., Watanabe, N., Murofushi, H., Furukohri, A., Waga, S., Score, A.J., Blow, J.J., Horikoshi, M., Enomoto, T., and Tada, S. (2011) “Biphasic chromatin binding of histone chaperone FACT during eukaryotic chromatin DNA replication. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)” shows that in Xenopus egg extracts FACT associates with DNA at two different stages of the cell cycle, one of which reflects its role in facilitating DNA replication.