To initiate chromosomal DNA replication, specific proteins bind to the replication origin region and form multimeric and dynamic complexes. Bacterial DnaA, the eukaryotic origin recognition complex (ORC), and Cdc6 proteins, most of which include an AAA+(-like) motif, play crucial roles in replication initiation. The importance of ATP binding and hydrolysis in these proteins has recently become recognized. ATP binding of Escherichia coli DnaA is required for the formation of the activated form of a DnaA multimer on the replication origin. The ATP-DnaA multimer can unwind duplex DNA in an origin-dependent manner, which is supported by various specific functions of several AAA+ motifs. DnaA-ATP hydrolysis is stimulated after initiation, repressing extra initiations, and sustaining once-per-cell cycle replication. ATP binding of ORC and Cdc6 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is required for heteromultimeric complex formation and specific DNA binding. ATP hydrolysis of these proteins is important for the efficient loading of the minichromosome maintenance protein complex, a component of the putative replicative helicase. In this review, we discuss the roles of DnaA, ORC, and Cdc6 in replication initiation and its regulation. We also summarize the functional features of the AAA+ domains of these proteins, and the functional divergence of ORC in chromosomal dynamics.
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