The minichromosome maintenance protein complex (MCM) is a DNA helicase essential for genomic DNA replication. Eukaryotic MCM consists of six gene products, Mcm2–7, which form a heterohexamer. As a critical protein for cell division, MCM is also the target of various checkpoint pathways, such as the S-phase entry and S-phase arrest checkpoints. Both the loading and activation of MCM helicase are strictly regulated and are coupled to cell growth cycles. Deregulation of MCM function has been linked to genomic instability and a variety of carcinomas.
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