Accurate chromosomal DNA replication is fundamental for optimal cellular function and genome integrity. Replication perturbations activate DNA damage tolerance pathways, which are crucial to complete genome duplication as well as to prevent formation of deleterious double strand breaks. Cells use two general strategies to tolerate lesions: recombination to a homologous template, and trans-lesion synthesis with specialized polymerases. While key players of these processes have been outlined, much less is known on their choreography and regulation. Recent advances have uncovered principles by which DNA damage tolerance is regulated locally and temporally - in relation to replication timing and cell cycle stage -, and are beginning to elucidate the DNA dynamics that mediate lesion tolerance and influence chromosome structure during replication.
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