DNA replication takes place at five different stages during the life cycle of Plasmodium falciparum including the human and mosquito hosts. DNA replication initiation, the rate-determining step is poorly understood in Plasmodium. Here we show that PfMCM4 and PfORC1, two members of prereplication initiation complex are expressed specifically in the nucleus during the trophozoite and schizont stages of the asexual parasitic life cycle where maximum amount of DNA replication takes place. Further, we show that these proteins are also expressed in gametocytes, where DNA replication also occurs. These results expand our knowledge on these proteins and resolves discrepancies arising from previous studies with respect to the expression pattern of replication initiation proteins during the parasite's life cycle. © 2006 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.