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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Nov;3(11):826-35.

Motors and switches: AAA+ machines within the replisome.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Clamp loaders are required to load the ring-shaped clamps that tether replicative DNA polymerases onto DNA. Recently solved crystal structures, along with a series of biochemical studies, have provided a detailed understanding of the clamp loading reaction. In particular, studies of the Escherichia coli clamp loader--an AAA+ machine--have provided insights into the architecture of clamp loaders from eukaryotes, bacteriophage T4 and archaea. Other AAA+ proteins are also involved in the initiation of DNA replication, and studies of the E. coli clamp loader indicate mechanisms by which these proteins might function.

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