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Chromosoma. 2004 Sep;113(3):113-25. Epub 2004 Aug 6.

Regulation of the DNA replication fork: a way to fight genomic instability.

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  • 1Institute of Veterinary Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Zürich-Irchel, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.


DNA replication is a complex mechanism that functions due to the coordinated interplay of many factors. In the last few years, numerous studies have suggested that DNA replication factors are closely implicated in several DNA transaction events that maintain the integrity of the genome. Therefore, DNA replication fork factors have to be considered as part of a general process that aims to protect and replicate the genome in order to allow correct functioning of a cell and its eventual daughter cells. This is illustrated by the numerous factors that have a well-defined function at the DNA replication fork, but also play crucial roles in different DNA repair pathways such as base excision repair, nucleotide excision repair, double-strand break repair, and mismatch repair. Moreover, several of the replisome proteins have also been shown to be essential in sensing and transducing DNA damages through the checkpoint cascade pathways, including the recently characterised alternative clamps and clamp-loaders. In this review we present DNA replication factors that are involved in different DNA transaction and checkpoint regulation pathways, with emphasis on the link between DNA replication and maintenance of genomic stability.

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