Multiple mechanisms control chromosome integrity after replication fork uncoupling and restart at irreparable UV lesions

Mol Cell. 2006 Jan 6;21(1):15-27. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2005.11.015.


DNA replication forks pause in front of lesions on the template, eventually leading to cytotoxic chromosomal rearrangements. The in vivo structure of damaged eukaryotic replication intermediates has been so far elusive. Combining electron microscopy (EM) and two-dimensional (2D) gel electrophoresis, we found that UV-irradiated S. cerevisiae cells uncouple leading and lagging strand replication at irreparable UV lesions, thus generating long ssDNA regions on one side of the fork. Furthermore, small ssDNA gaps accumulate along replicated duplexes, likely resulting from repriming events downstream of the lesions on both leading and lagging strands. Translesion synthesis and homologous recombination counteract gap accumulation, without affecting fork progression. The DNA damage checkpoint contributes to gap repair and maintains a replication-competent fork structure. We propose that the coordinated action of checkpoint, recombination, and translesion synthesis-mediated processes at the fork and behind the fork preserves the integrity of replicating chromosomes by allowing efficient replication restart and filling the resulting ssDNA gaps.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Repair
  • DNA Replication / radiation effects*
  • DNA, Fungal / metabolism
  • DNA, Fungal / radiation effects*
  • DNA, Fungal / ultrastructure
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / metabolism
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / radiation effects*
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / ultrastructure
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / radiation effects
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Templates, Genetic
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins