The compact organization of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome necessitates that non-coding regulatory sequences reside in close proximity to one another. Here we show there is an intimate association between transcription terminators and DNA replication origins. Four replication origins were analyzed in a reporter gene assay that detects sequences that direct 3' end formation of mRNA transcripts. All four replication origins function as orientation-independent transcription terminators in this system, producing truncated polyadenylated mRNAs. Despite this close association, the cis-acting elements that confer replication origin function are genetically separable from those required for transcription termination. Several models are explored in an attempt to address how and why the signals specifying transcription termination and replication initiation overlap.
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