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Genes 2016, 7(8), 40; doi:10.3390/genes7080040

Replication Termination: Containing Fork Fusion-Mediated Pathologies in Escherichia coli

Division of Biosciences, College of Health and Life Sciences, Brunel University London, Uxbridge UB8 3PH, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Richard T. Pomerantz
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 12 July 2016 / Accepted: 19 July 2016 / Published: 25 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Replication and Transcription Associated DNA Repair)
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Duplication of bacterial chromosomes is initiated via the assembly of two replication forks at a single defined origin. Forks proceed bi-directionally until they fuse in a specialised termination area opposite the origin. This area is flanked by polar replication fork pause sites that allow forks to enter but not to leave. The precise function of this replication fork trap has remained enigmatic, as no obvious phenotypes have been associated with its inactivation. However, the fork trap becomes a serious problem to cells if the second fork is stalled at an impediment, as replication cannot be completed, suggesting that a significant evolutionary advantage for maintaining this chromosomal arrangement must exist. Recently, we demonstrated that head-on fusion of replication forks can trigger over-replication of the chromosome. This over-replication is normally prevented by a number of proteins including RecG helicase and 3’ exonucleases. However, even in the absence of these proteins it can be safely contained within the replication fork trap, highlighting that multiple systems might be involved in coordinating replication fork fusions. Here, we discuss whether considering the problems associated with head-on replication fork fusion events helps us to better understand the important role of the replication fork trap in cellular metabolism. View Full-Text
Keywords: termination of DNA replication; fork collisions; RecG; homologous recombination; co-orientation of replication and transcription termination of DNA replication; fork collisions; RecG; homologous recombination; co-orientation of replication and transcription

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Dimude, J.U.; Midgley-Smith, S.L.; Stein, M.; Rudolph, C.J. Replication Termination: Containing Fork Fusion-Mediated Pathologies in Escherichia coli. Genes 2016, 7, 40.

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