The Protein Machine that Copies Genes
This is an origin recognition complex (ORC). It’s job is to help our DNA replication machinery locate ‘start’ sites in the genome so that we can copy our genetic code reliably.
In its simplest form, the ORC starts as crescent-shaped protein complex (yellow in the image above). It wraps around and bends the DNA (the red and blue complex). When the protein activator (green) joins the ORC, the ORC is ready to load the protein that will unwind the double-stranded DNA and enable other proteins to come in and copy it.
Understanding how our cells replicate our genetic code could lead to a new understanding of how mutations (errors in this replication process) lead to disease.