Kinetoplast DNA is a network of interlocked minicircles and maxicircles. In situ hybridization, using probes detected by digital fluorescence microscopy, has clarified the in vivo structure and replication mechanism of the network. The probe recognizes only nicked minicircles. Hybridization reveals prereplication kinetoplasts (with closed minicircles), donutshaped replicating kinetoplasts (with nicked minicircles on the periphery and closed minicircles in the center), and postreplication kinetoplasts (with nicked minicircles). Replicating kinetoplasts are associated with two peripheral structures containing free minicircle replication intermediates and DNA polymerase. Replication may involve release of closed minicircles from the center of the kinetoplast and their migration to the peripheral structures, replication of the free minicircles therein, and then peripheral reattachment of the progeny minicircles to the kinetoplast.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)