Efficient processing of Okazaki fragments generated during discontinuous lagging-strand DNA replication is critical for the maintenance of genome integrity. In eukaryotes, a number of enzymes co-ordinate to ensure the removal of initiating primers from the 5′-end of each fragment and the generation of a covalently linked daughter strand. Studies in eukaryotic systems have revealed that the co-ordination of DNA polymerase δ and FEN-1 (Flap Endonuclease 1) is sufficient to remove the majority of primers. Other pathways such as that involving Dna2 also operate under certain conditions, although, notably, Dna2 is not universally conserved between eukaryotes and archaea, unlike the other core factors. In addition to the catalytic components, the DNA sliding clamp, PCNA (proliferating-cell nuclear antigen), plays a pivotal role in binding and co-ordinating these enzymes at sites of lagging-strand replication. Structural studies in eukaryotic and archaeal systems have revealed that PCNA-binding proteins can adopt different conformations when binding PCNA. This conformational malleability may be key to the co-ordination of these enzymes' activities.

You do not currently have access to this content.