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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00319

The DnaA Tale

  • 1Department of Bioengineering, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
  • 2Department of Science and Environment, Roskilde University, Denmark

More than fifty years have passed since the presentation of the Replicon Model which states that a positively acting initiator interacts with a specific site on a circular chromosome molecule to initiate DNA replication. Since then, the origin of chromosome replication, oriC, has been determined as a specific region that carries sequences required for binding of positively acting initiator proteins, DnaA-boxes and DnaA proteins, respectively. In this review we will give a historical overview of significant findings which have led to the very detailed knowledge we now possess about the initiation process in bacteria using Escherichia coli as the model organism, but emphasizing that virtually all bacteria have DnaA proteins that interacts with DnaA boxes to initiate chromosome replication. We will discuss the dnaA gene regulation, the special features of the dnaA gene expression, promoter strength, and translation efficiency, as well as, the DnaA protein, its concentration, its binding to DnaA-boxes, and its binding of ATP or ADP. Furthermore we will discuss the different models for regulation of initiation which have been proposed over the years, with particular emphasis on the Initiator Titration Model.

Keywords: DnaA protein, dnaA box, chromosome initiation control, dnaA gene, dnaA mutants, DnaA ADP/ATP, oriC, initiation control models, initiator titration, Cell Cycle

Received: 04 Jan 2018; Accepted: 09 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Arieh Zaritsky, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

Reviewed by:

Charles E. Helmstetter, Florida Institute of Technology, United States
Judith W. Zyskind, San Diego State University, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Hansen and Atlung. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Flemming G. Hansen, Technical University of Denmark, Department of Bioengineering, Kongens Lyngby, DK-2800, Denmark,