Replication forks blocked by protein-DNA complexes have limited stability in vitro

Peter McGlynn, Colin P. Guy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


There are many barriers that replication forks must overcome in order to duplicate a genome ill vivo. These barriers include damage to the template DNA and proteins bound to this template. If replication is halted by such a block, then the block must be either removed or bypassed for replication to continue. If continuation of replication employs the original fork, avoiding the need to reload the replication apparatus, then the blocked replisome must retain functionality. Ill vivo studies of Escherichia coli replication forks suggest that replication forks blocked by protein-DNA complexes retain the ability to resume replication upon removal of the block for several hours. Here we tested the functional stability of replication forks reconstituted ill vitro and blocked by lac repressor-operator complexes. Once a fork comes to a halt at such a block, it cannot continue subsequently to translocate through the block until addition of IPTG induces repressor dissociation. However, the ability to resume replication is retained only for 4-6 min regardless of the topological state of the template DNA. Comparison Of Our ill vitro data with previous in vivo data suggests that either accessory factors that stabilise blocked forks are present in vivo or the apparent stability of blocked forks in vivo is due to continual reloading of the replication apparatus at the site of the block. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number2
Early online date29 May 2008
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


  • genome stability
  • DNA repair
  • recombination
  • helicase
  • replisome
  • escherichia-coli
  • restart
  • transcription
  • initiation
  • origin


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