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Mol Cell. 2008 Jun 20;30(6):779-89. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2008.04.020.

Resolution of converging replication forks by RecQ and topoisomerase III.

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  • 1Molecular Biology Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.


RecQ-like DNA helicases pair with cognate topoisomerase III enzymes to function in the maintenance of genomic integrity in many organisms. These proteins play roles in stabilizing stalled replication forks, the S phase checkpoint response, and suppressing genetic crossovers, and their inactivation results in hyper-recombination, gross chromosomal rearrangements, chromosome segregation defects, and human disease. Biochemical activities associated with these enzymes include the ability to resolve double Holliday junctions, a process thought to lead to the suppression of crossover formation. Using Escherichia coli RecQ and topoisomerase III, we demonstrate a second activity for this pair of enzymes that could account for their role in maintaining genomic stability: resolution of converging replication forks. This resolution reaction is specific for the RecQ-topoisomerase III pair and is mediated by interaction of both of these enzymes with the single-stranded DNA-binding protein SSB.

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