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Genes 2013, 4(1), 1-32; doi:10.3390/genes4010001

The Replication Fork: Understanding the Eukaryotic Replication Machinery and the Challenges to Genome Duplication

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA
Current Address: Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
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Received: 3 December 2012 / Revised: 21 January 2013 / Accepted: 22 January 2013 / Published: 29 January 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Replication)
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Abstract

Eukaryotic cells must accurately and efficiently duplicate their genomes during each round of the cell cycle. Multiple linear chromosomes, an abundance of regulatory elements, and chromosome packaging are all challenges that the eukaryotic DNA replication machinery must successfully overcome. The replication machinery, the “replisome” complex, is composed of many specialized proteins with functions in supporting replication by DNA polymerases. Efficient replisome progression relies on tight coordination between the various factors of the replisome. Further, replisome progression must occur on less than ideal templates at various genomic loci. Here, we describe the functions of the major replisome components, as well as some of the obstacles to efficient DNA replication that the replisome confronts. Together, this review summarizes current understanding of the vastly complicated task of replicating eukaryotic DNA.
Keywords: DNA replication; replisome; replication fork; genome stability; checkpoint; fork barriers; difficult-to-replicate sites DNA replication; replisome; replication fork; genome stability; checkpoint; fork barriers; difficult-to-replicate sites
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Leman, A.R.; Noguchi, E. The Replication Fork: Understanding the Eukaryotic Replication Machinery and the Challenges to Genome Duplication. Genes 2013, 4, 1-32.

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