Reference: Kao HI and Bambara RA (2003) The protein components and mechanism of eukaryotic Okazaki fragment maturation. Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol 38(5):433-52

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Abstract


An initiator RNA (iRNA) is required to prime cellular DNA synthesis. The structure of double-stranded DNA allows the synthesis of one strand to be continuous but the other must be generated discontinuously. Frequent priming of the discontinuous strand results in the formation of many small segments, designated Okazaki fragments. These short pieces need to be processed and joined to form an intact DNA strand. Our knowledge of the mechanism of iRNA removal is still evolving. Early reconstituted systems suggesting that the removal of iRNA requires sequential action of RNase H and flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) led to the RNase H/FEN1 model. However, genetic analyses implied that Dna2p, an essential helicase/nuclease, is required. Subsequent biochemical studies suggested sequential action of RPA, Dna2p, and FEN1 for iRNA removal, leading to the second model, the Dna2p/RPA/FEN1 model. Studies of strand-displacement synthesis by polymerase delta indicated that in a reconstituted system, FEN1 could act as soon as short flaps are created, giving rise to a third model, the FEN1-only model. Each of the three pathways is supported by different genetic and biochemical results. Properties of the major protein components in this process will be discussed, and the validity of each model as a true representation of Okazaki fragment processing will be critically evaluated in this review.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Review | Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
Authors
Kao HI, Bambara RA
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