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Collisions of protein machines cause DNA replication derailment
Date:2/24/2011

ene expression train until it has finished its job and moved out of the way. Our new research shows that this isn't the case at all and in fact they do collide quite often causing what, in this analogy, we could only describe as a major derailment!"

When the DNA replisome falls off the DNA there are other proteins called "restart replication proteins" that come in to help get it back on track. Although this ensures that DNA replication can continue, it can potentially increase the risk of mistakes occurring during the copying process, particularly if such restart replication proteins are malfunctioning. In some cases these mistakes can lead to problems e.g. if the mistake causes a genetic malfunction that can lead to a cancer developing.

Describing what happens to the DNA replisome in areas of DNA where there are many RNA Polymerases working on genes that are in high use, Professor Soultanas said: "We are now realizing that when there are a lot of slow moving trains close together on the track, the fast moving train is faced with a huge obstacle and any failure to safely negotiate these areas could easily result in significant errors. Therefore, replication restart mechanisms are of vital importance to ensure accurate copying of the genetic material"

Professor Douglas Kell, Chief Executive, BBSRC said "This is exciting news and an excellent achievement. Biological sciences as a discipline is unique because there are a collection of key ideas, tools, techniques and processes that are applied across an enormous range of topics. The interplay between gene expression, DNA replication and the prevention of DNA damage is an example of just such a tenet of biology and so this result has the potential to touch on research right across BBSRC's portfolio and beyond."


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Contact: Mike Davies
mike.davies@bbsrc.ac.uk
01-793-414-694
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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