Transcription inhibits the replication of autonomously replicating plasmids in human cells.
This study addresses the effect of transcription on replication, using a system based on autonomously replicating plasmids in human cells. We added transcriptional elements from the human cytomegalovirus promoter/enhancer and the human beta-actin promoter to autonomously replicating plasmids based on human sequences and found that the transcriptional elements inhibited plasmid replication. Furthermore, conditional inhibition of plasmid replication was demonstrated by using a tetracycline-responsive promoter. We found that replication activity of plasmids carrying this promoter was inversely correlated with promoter activity. Replication activity was partially restored on plasmids when a transcriptional termination sequence was placed directly downstream of the promoter element. Transcriptional activity of the promoters and the efficacy of the terminator sequence were confirmed by using steady-state RNA analysis. These experiments suggest that transcription inhibits DNA replication on these plasmids and that the degree of inhibition is dependent on transcription strength. The possible significance of these results for chromosomal DNA replication are discussed.
Haase, SB; Heinzel, SS; Calos, MP
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