DNA replication licensing factor MCM6 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the MCM6gene. MCM6 is one of the highly conserved mini-chromosome maintenance proteins (MCM) that are essential for the initiation of eukaryoticgenomereplication.
The MCM complex consisting of MCM6 (this protein) and MCM2, 4 and 7 possesses DNAhelicase activity, and may act as a DNA unwindingenzyme. The hexameric protein complex formed by the MCM proteins is a key component of the pre-replication complex (pre-RC) and may be involved in the formation of replication forks and in the recruitment of other DNA replication related proteins. The phosphorylation of the complex by CDC2 kinase reduces the helicase activity, suggesting a role in the regulation of DNA replication. Mcm 6 has recently been shown to interact strongly Cdt1 at defined residues, by mutating these target residues Wei et al. observed lack of Cdt1 recruitment of Mcm2-7 to the pre-RC.
The MCM6 gene, MCM6, is expressed at very high level. MCM6 contains 18 introns. There are 2 non overlapping alternative last exons. The transcripts appear to differ by truncation of the 3' end, presence or absence of 2 cassette exons, common exons with different boundaries.
MCM6 contains two of the regulatory regions for LCT, the gene encoding the protein lactase, located in two of the MCM6 introns, approximately 14 kb (-13910) and 22 kb (-22018) upstream of LCT. The (-13910) region, in particular, has been shown to function in vitro as an enhancer element capable of differentially activating transcription of LCTpromoter.
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