DNA replication and homologous recombination factors: acting together to maintain genome stability

Chromosoma. 2013 Oct;122(5):401-13. doi: 10.1007/s00412-013-0411-3. Epub 2013 Apr 16.


Genome duplication requires the coordinated action of multiple proteins to ensure a fast replication with high fidelity. These factors form a complex called the Replisome, which is assembled onto the DNA duplex to promote its unwinding and to catalyze the polymerization of two new strands. Key constituents of the Replisome are the Cdc45-Mcm2-7-GINS helicase and the And1-Claspin-Tipin-Tim1 complex, which coordinate DNA unwinding with polymerase alpha-, delta-, and epsilon- dependent DNA polymerization. These factors encounter numerous obstacles, such as endogenous DNA lesions leading to template breakage and complex structures arising from intrinsic features of specific DNA sequences. To overcome these roadblocks, homologous recombination DNA repair factors, such as Rad51 and the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 complex, are required to ensure complete and faithful replication. Consistent with this notion, many of the genes involved in this process result in lethal phenotypes when inactivated in organisms with complex and large genomes. Here, we summarize the architectural and functional properties of the Replisome and propose a unified view of DNA replication and repair processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA Helicases / genetics*
  • DNA Replication / genetics*
  • Eukaryotic Cells*
  • Genes, Duplicate
  • Genomic Instability
  • Homologous Recombination / genetics*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • DNA
  • DNA Helicases