Collections > UNC Scholarly Publications > BioMed Central > DNA replication and the GINS complex: localization on extended chromatin fibers

Abstract Background The GINS complex is thought to be essential for the processes of initiation and elongation of DNA replication. This complex contains four subunits, one of which (Psf1) is proposed to bind to both chromatin and DNA replication-associated proteins. To date there have been no microscopic analyses to evaluate the chromatin distribution of this complex. Here, we show the organization of GINS complexes on extended chromatin fibers in relation to sites of DNA replication and replication-associated proteins. Results Using immunofluorescence microscopy we were able to visualize ORC1, ORC2, PCNA, and GINS complex proteins Psf1 and Psf2 bound to extended chromatin fibers. We were also able to detect these proteins concurrently with the visualization of tracks of recently replicated DNA where EdU, a thymidine analog, was incorporated. This allowed us to assess the chromatin association of proteins of interest in relation to the process of DNA replication. ORC and GINS proteins were found on chromatin fibers before replication could be detected. These proteins were also associated with newly replicated DNA in bead-like structures. Additionally, GINS proteins co-localized with PCNA at sites of active replication. Conclusion In agreement with its proposed role in the initiation of DNA replication, GINS proteins associated with chromatin near sites of ORC binding that were devoid of EdU (absence of DNA replication). The association of GINS proteins with PCNA was consistent with a role in the process of elongation. Additionally, the large size of our chromatin fibers (up to approximately 7 Mb) allowed for a more expansive analysis of the distance between active replicons than previously reported.