Redox-sensitive alteration of replisome architecture safeguards genome integrity

Science. 2017 Nov 10;358(6364):797-802. doi: 10.1126/science.aao3172.


DNA replication requires coordination between replication fork progression and deoxynucleotide triphosphate (dNTP)-generating metabolic pathways. We find that perturbation of ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) in humans elevates reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are detected by peroxiredoxin 2 (PRDX2). In the oligomeric state, PRDX2 forms a replisome-associated ROS sensor, which binds the fork accelerator TIMELESS when exposed to low levels of ROS. Elevated ROS levels generated by RNR attenuation disrupt oligomerized PRDX2 to smaller subunits, whose dissociation from chromatin enforces the displacement of TIMELESS from the replisome. This process instantly slows replication fork progression, which mitigates pathological consequences of replication stress. Thus, redox signaling couples fluctuations of dNTP biogenesis with replisome activity to reduce stress during genome duplication. We propose that cancer cells exploit this pathway to increase their adaptability to adverse metabolic conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Biological
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • DNA Replication*
  • Deoxyribonucleotides / metabolism
  • Genomic Instability*
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Peroxiredoxins / metabolism*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Ribonucleotide Reductases / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromatin
  • Deoxyribonucleotides
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • TIMELESS protein, human
  • PRDX2 protein, human
  • Peroxiredoxins
  • Ribonucleotide Reductases