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Mol Cell. 2007 Jun 22;26(6):781-93.

A hand-off mechanism for primosome assembly in replication restart.

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Department of Biomolecular Chemistry, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, 550 Medical Sciences Center, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Collapsed DNA replication forks must be reactivated through origin-independent reloading of the replication machinery (replisome) to ensure complete duplication of cellular genomes. In E. coli, the PriA-dependent pathway is the major replication restart mechanism and requires primosome proteins PriA, PriB, and DnaT for replisome reloading. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate origin-independent replisome loading are not fully understood. Here, we demonstrate that assembly of primosome protein complexes represents a key regulatory mechanism, as inherently weak PriA-PriB and PriB-DnaT interactions are strongly stimulated by single-stranded DNA. Furthermore, the binding site on PriB for single-stranded DNA partially overlaps the binding sites for PriA and DnaT, suggesting a dynamic primosome assembly process in which single-stranded DNA is handed off from one primosome protein to another as a repaired replication fork is reactivated. This model helps explain how origin-independent initiation of DNA replication is restricted to repaired replication forks, preventing overreplication of the genome.

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