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Published June 1981 | Published
Journal Article Open

On the possibility of metabolic control of replicon "misfiring": Relationship to emergence of malignant phenotypes in mammalian cell lineages


Constraints of a multireplicon chromosomal organization and of the necessity to maintain constant gene dosages demand that each origin of replication in a eukaryotic cell "fire" (initiate replication) only once per cell cycle. The central idea of this work is that a low probability of an extra ("illegitimate") round of DNA replication (called below "replicon misfiring") within any given chromosomal domain could be increased by certain substances of either intra- or extracellular origin. The term "firone" is proposed for such a substance. It is shown that existence of firones could greatly speed up evolution of cellular systems under selection pressure, a developing tumor being one example of such a system. Experimentally testable predictions of the firone hypothesis are discussed.

Additional Information

© 1981 by the National Academy of Sciences. Communicated by Howard Green, March 11, 1981. I thank OlofSundin, James Barsoum, and Frederick Boyce for helpful discussions. I am particularly indebted to Howard Green for many useful comments on the early draft of the paper. Secretarial assistance by Nancy Fritz is gratefully acknowledged. The publication costs of this article were defrayed in part by page charge payment. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U. S. C. §1734 solely to indicate this fact.

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