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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2009 Dec;21(6):778-84. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Nov 11.

The replication fork's five degrees of freedom, their failure and genome rearrangements.

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Department of Molecular & Cell Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.


Genome rearrangements are important in pathology and evolution. The thesis of this review is that the genome is in peril when replication forks stall, and stalled forks are normally rescued by error-free mechanisms. Failure of error-free mechanisms results in large-scale chromosome changes called gross chromosomal rearrangements, GCRs, by the aficionados. In this review we discuss five error-free mechanisms a replication fork may use to overcome blockage, mechanisms that are still poorly understood. We then speculate on how genome rearrangements may occur when such mechanisms fail. Replication fork recovery failure may be an important feature of the oncogenic process. (Feedback to the authors on topics discussed herein is welcome.).

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