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EMBO J. 1999 Nov 1;18(21):6189-99.

Multiple competition reactions for RPA order the assembly of the DNA polymerase delta holoenzyme.

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  • 1The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Processive extension of DNA in eukaryotes requires three factors to coordinate their actions. First, DNA polymerase alpha-primase synthesizes the primed site. Then replication factor C loads a proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) clamp onto the primer. Following this, DNA polymerase delta assembles with PCNA for processive extension. This report shows that these proteins each bind the primed site tightly and trade places in a highly coordinated fashion such that the primer terminus is never left free of protein. Replication protein A (RPA), the single-stranded DNA-binding protein, forms a common touchpoint for each of these proteins and they compete with one another for it. Thus these protein exchanges are driven by competition-based protein switches in which two proteins vie for contact with RPA.

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