The Function and Evolution of Motile DNA Replication Systems in Ciliates
DNA replication is a ubiquitous and conserved cellular process. However, regulation of DNA replication is only understood in a small fraction of organisms that poorly represent the diversity of genetic systems in nature. Here we used computational and experimental approaches to examine the function and evolution of one such system, the replication band (RB) in spirotrich ciliates, which is a localized, motile hub that traverses the macronucleus while replicating DNA. We show that the RB can take unique forms in different species, from polar bands to a “replication envelope,” where replication initiates at the nuclear periphery before advancing inward. Furthermore, we identify genes involved in cellular transport, including calcium transporters and cytoskeletal regulators, that are associated with the RB and may be involved in its function and translocation. These findings highlight the evolution and diversity of DNA replication systems and provide insights into the regulation of nuclear organization and processes.
Irwin, Nicholas A.T.; Pittis, Alexandros A.; Mathur, Varsha; Howe, LeAnne J.; Keeling, Patrick J.; Lynn, Denis H.; and Bourland, William A.. (2021). "The Function and Evolution of Motile DNA Replication Systems in Ciliates". Current Biology, 31(1), 66-76.e6. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.09.077