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Insight into DNA replication machinery

 


Luca Pellegrini's group, together with their colleagues, have published a paper in Nature entitled "A Ctf4 trimer couples the CMG helicase to DNA polymerase α in the eukaryotic replisome". Each time a cell divides, a large protein machine known as the replisome must make a faithful copy of its genome. How the replisome of eukaryotic cells performs this necessary but challenging task is largely unknown. This work has shown how two essential replisome components, the helicase that unwinds the double helix and the polymerase that begins synthesis of new DNA, remain in close contact so that they can coordinate their activities throughout the replication process. Such knowledge is important because lack of coordination between helicase and DNA polymerases causes genomic instability, a major predisposing factor to cancer and neurodegenerative conditions.