The lectin, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), has previously been shown to prevent transport into the cell nucleus. This paper shows that WGA also inhibits nuclear DNA replication, under the same conditions that prevent transport. Although WGA eliminates sperm nuclear DNA replication in a cell-free extract of Xenopus eggs, DNA synthesis on a single-stranded template proceeds normally. Inhibition of nuclear DNA replication is partially reversed by addition of N-acetylglucosamine, and completely reversed by triacetylchitotriose. Sensitivity to inhibition by WGA is greatest during the nuclear assembly phase, and nuclear formation on sperm chromatin is blocked. DNA replication in preformed nuclear templates is also sensitive to WGA inhibition. I propose that WGA blocks DNA replication by preventing nuclear transport. The data presented here also indicate that, under certain circumstances, the elongation stage of DNA replication does not proceed in the absence of an intact nuclear envelope. The roles of the nuclear envelope and active nuclear transport in DNA replication are discussed.

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