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Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2012 May-Jun;47(3):222-35. doi: 10.3109/10409238.2012.655374. Epub 2012 Feb 11.

Mechanisms of replication fork protection: a safeguard for genome stability.

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DNA damage and Genome Stability Unit, Clare Hall Laboratories, London Research Institute, South Mimms, Hertfordshire, UK.


During S-phase, the genome is extremely vulnerable and the progression of replication forks is often threatened by exogenous and endogenous challenges. When replication fork progression is halted, the intra S-phase checkpoint is activated to promote structural stability of stalled forks, preventing the dissociation of replisome components. This ensures the rapid resumption of replication following DNA repair. Failure in protecting and/or restarting the stalled forks contributes to alterations of the genome. Several human genetic diseases coupled to an increased cancer predisposition are caused by mutations in genes involved in safeguarding genome integrity during DNA replication. Both the ATR (ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related protein) kinase and the Replication pausing complex (RPC) components Tipin, Tim1 and Claspin play key roles in activating the intra S-phase checkpoint and in stabilizing the stalled replication forks. Here, we discuss the specific contribution of these factors in preserving fork structure and ensuring accurate completion of DNA replication.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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