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Mol Microbiol. 2012 Jul;85(1):12-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2012.08102.x. Epub 2012 May 31.

The conflict between DNA replication and transcription.

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School of Medical Sciences, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, UK.


There is mounting evidence that there are frequent conflicts between complexes that replicate DNA and those that transcribe the same template, and that these conflicts lead to blockage of replication and genome instability. Such problems are perhaps best understood in bacteria, but it is becoming apparent that replicative barriers associated with transcription are a universal feature of life. This review summarizes what is currently known about how collisions between replisomes and transcription complexes are minimized and the mechanisms that help to resolve such collisions when they do occur. Although our understanding of these processes is still far from complete, a picture is emerging of a wide variety of different types of transcriptional blocks to replication that have resulted in a complex, overlapping system of mechanisms to avoid or tolerate such collisions.

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