DNA topological transitions occur when replication forks encounter other DNA transactions such as transcription. Failure in resolving such conflicts leads to generation of aberrant replication and transcription intermediates that might have adverse effects on genome stability. Cells have evolved numerous surveillance mechanisms to avoid, tolerate, and resolve such replication-transcription conflicts. Defects or non-coordination in such cellular mechanisms might have catastrophic effect on cell viability. In this chapter, we review consequences of replication encounters with transcription and its associated events, topological challenges, and how these inevitable conflicts alter the genome structure and functions.
Keywords: Chromatin structure; DNA replication; Genome instability; RNA:DNA hybrids; Topoisomerase; Topology; Transcription.