DNA replication results in the doubling of the genome prior to cell division. This process requires the assembly of 50 or more protein factors into a replication fork. Here, we review recent structural and biochemical insights that start to explain how specific proteins recognize DNA replication origins, load the replicative helicase on DNA, unwind DNA, synthesize new DNA strands, and reassemble chromatin. We focus on the minichromosome maintenance (MCM2-7) proteins, which form the core of the eukaryotic replication fork, as this complex undergoes major structural rearrangements in order to engage with DNA, regulate its DNA-unwinding activity, and maintain genome stability.
Keywords: CMG; DNA replication; MCM2–7; cryo-EM; pre-RC; replisome.
© 2017 Riera et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.