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Forks on the Run: Can the Stalling of DNA Replication Promote Epigenetic Changes?

ABSTRACT: Built of DNA polymerases and multiple associated factors, the replication fork steadily progresses along the DNA template and faithfully replicates DNA. This model can be found in practically every textbook of genetics, with the more complex situation of chromatinized DNA in eukaryotes often viewed as a variation. However, the replication-coupled disassembly/reassembly of chromatin adds significant complexity to the whole replication process. During the course of eukaryotic DNA replication the forks encounter various conditions and numerous impediments. These include nucleosomes with a variety of post-translational modifications, euchromatin and heterochromatin, differentially methylated DNA, tightly bound proteins, active gene promoters and DNA loops. At such positions the forks slow down or even stall. Dedicated factors stabilize the fork and prevent its rotation or collapse, while other factors resolve the replication block and facilitate the resumption of elongation. The fate of histones during replication stalling and resumption is not well understood. In this review we briefly describe recent advances in our understanding of histone turnover during DNA replication and focus on the possible mechanisms of nucleosome disassembly/reassembly at paused replication forks. We propose that replication pausing provides opportunities for an epigenetic change of the associated locus.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5479891 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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