The DNA replication fork in eukaryotic cells

Annu Rev Biochem. 1998;67:721-51. doi: 10.1146/annurev.biochem.67.1.721.


Replication of the two template strands at eukaryotic cell DNA replication forks is a highly coordinated process that ensures accurate and efficient genome duplication. Biochemical studies, principally of plasmid DNAs containing the Simian Virus 40 origin of DNA replication, and yeast genetic studies have uncovered the fundamental mechanisms of replication fork progression. At least two different DNA polymerases, a single-stranded DNA-binding protein, a clamp-loading complex, and a polymerase clamp combine to replicate DNA. Okazaki fragment synthesis involves a DNA polymerase-switching mechanism, and maturation occurs by the recruitment of specific nucleases, a helicase, and a ligase. The process of DNA replication is also coupled to cell-cycle progression and to DNA repair to maintain genome integrity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle
  • DNA Replication*
  • Eukaryotic Cells
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation


  • Nuclear Proteins