Background: During cell division, the duplication of the genome starts at multiple positions called replication origins. Origin firing requires the interaction of rate-limiting factors with potential origins during the S(ynthesis)-phase of the cell cycle. Origins fire as synchronous clusters which is proposed to be regulated by the intra-S checkpoint.
Results: By modelling the unchallenged, the checkpoint-inhibited and the checkpoint protein Chk1 over-expressed replication pattern of single DNA molecules from Xenopus sperm chromatin replicated in egg extracts, we demonstrate that the quantitative modelling of data requires: 1) a segmentation of the genome into regions of low and high probability of origin firing; 2) that regions with high probability of origin firing escape intra-S checkpoint regulation and 3) the variability of the rate of DNA synthesis close to replication forks is a necessary ingredient that should be taken in to account in order to describe the dynamic of replication origin firing.
Conclusions: This model implies that the observed origin clustering emerges from the apparent synchrony of origin firing in regions with high probability of origin firing and challenge the assumption that the intra-S checkpoint is the main regulator of origin clustering.
Availabily: The datasets supporting the conclusions of this article are from reference .