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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Mar;11(3):208-19. doi: 10.1038/nrm2852.

Maintaining genome stability at the replication fork.

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Fondazione IFOM, Istituto FIRC di Oncologia Molecolare, IFOM-IEO campus, Via Adamello 16, 20139 Milan, Italy.


Aberrant DNA replication is a major source of the mutations and chromosome rearrangements that are associated with pathological disorders. When replication is compromised, DNA becomes more prone to breakage. Secondary structures, highly transcribed DNA sequences and damaged DNA stall replication forks, which then require checkpoint factors and specialized enzymatic activities for their stabilization and subsequent advance. These mechanisms ensure that the local DNA damage response, which enables replication fork progression and DNA repair in S phase, is coupled with cell cycle transitions. The mechanisms that operate in eukaryotic cells to promote replication fork integrity and coordinate replication with other aspects of chromosome maintenance are becoming clear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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