Replisome mechanics: insights into a twin DNA polymerase machine

Trends Microbiol. 2007 Apr;15(4):156-64. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2007.02.007. Epub 2007 Mar 9.


Chromosomal replicases are multicomponent machines that copy DNA with remarkable speed and processivity. The organization of the replisome reveals a twin DNA polymerase design ideally suited for concurrent synthesis of leading and lagging strands. Recent structural and biochemical studies of Escherichia coli and eukaryotic replication components provide intricate details of the organization and inner workings of cellular replicases. In particular, studies of sliding clamps and clamp-loader subunits elucidate the mechanisms of replisome processivity and lagging strand synthesis. These studies demonstrate close similarities between the bacterial and eukaryotic replication machineries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Replication / genetics*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / chemistry
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Molecular


  • DNA replicase
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase