The dynamics of eukaryotic DNA polymerases has been difficult to establish because of the difficulty of tracking them along the chromosomes during DNA replication. Recent work has addressed this problem in the yeasts Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Saccharomyces cerevisiae through the engineering of replicative polymerases to render them prone to incorporating ribonucleotides at high rates. Their use as tracers of the passage of each polymerase has provided a picture of unprecedented resolution of the organization of replicons and replication origins in the two yeasts and has uncovered important differences between them. Additional studies have found an overlapping distribution of DNA polymorphisms and the junctions of Okazaki fragments along mononucleosomal DNA. This sequence instability is caused by the premature release of polymerase δ and the retention of non proof-read DNA tracts replicated by polymerase α. The possible implementation of these new experimental approaches in multicellular organisms opens the door to the analysis of replication dynamics under a broad range of genetic backgrounds and physiological or pathological conditions.
Keywords: DNA polymerases; DNA replication; genome instability; nucleosomes; replication origin.
© 2015 The Authors. Bioessays published by WILEY Periodicals, Inc.