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Cell. 1997 Aug 8;90(3):559-67.

Termination of mammalian rDNA replication: polar arrest of replication fork movement by transcription termination factor TTF-I.

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Institute of Biochemistry, University of Würzburg, Germany.


A replication fork barrier (RFB) at the 3' end of eukaryotic ribosomal RNA genes blocks bidirectional fork progression and limits DNA replication to the same direction as transcription. We have reproduced the RFB in vitro in HeLa cell extracts using 3' terminal murine rDNA fused to an SV40 origin-based vector. The RFB is polar and modularly organized, requiring both the Sal box transcription terminator and specific flanking sequences. Mutations within the terminator element, depletion of the RNA polymerase I-specific transcription termination factor TTF-I, or deletion of the termination domain of TTF-I abolishes RFB activity. Thus, the same factor that blocks elongating RNA polymerase I prevents head-on collision between the DNA replication apparatus and the transcription machinery.

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