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Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 Jun;45(3):233-42. doi: 10.3109/10409231003786086.

RecQ4: the second replicative helicase?

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Department of Biochemistry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.


Recent work has greatly contributed to the understanding of the biology and biochemistry of RecQ4. It plays an essential non-enzymatic role in the formation of the CMG complex, and thus replication initiation, by means of its Sld2 homologous domain. The helicase domain of RecQ4 has now been demonstrated to possess 3'-5' DNA helicase activity, like the other members of the RecQ family. The biological purpose of this activity is still unclear, but helicase-dead mutants are unable to restore viability in the absence of wildtype RecQ4. This indicates that RecQ4 performs a second role, which requires helicase activity and is implicated in replication and DNA repair. Thus, it is clear that two helicases, RecQ4 and Mcm2-7, are integral to replication. The nature of the simultaneous involvement of these two helicases remains to be determined, and possible models will be proposed.

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