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Eukaryotic cells possess overlapping mechanisms to ensure that DNA replication is restricted to the S phase of the cell cycle. The levels of hOrc1p, the largest subunit of the human origin recognition complex, vary during the cell division cycle. In rapidly proliferating cells, hOrc1p is expressed and targeted to chromatin as cells exit mitosis and prereplicative complexes are formed. Later, as cyclin A accumulates and cells enter S phase, hOrc1p is ubiquitinated on chromatin and then degraded. hOrc1p destruction occurs through the proteasome and is signaled in part by the SCF(Skp2) ubiquitin-ligase complex. Other hORC subunits are stable throughout the cell cycle. The regulation of hOrc1p may be an important mechanism in maintaining the ploidy in human cells.