PerspectiveStructural Biology

Bit Players in the Trombone Orchestra

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Science  31 Mar 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5462, pp. 2435-2436
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5462.2435

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The semiconservative replication of DNA dictates that the leading and lagging DNA template strands are reproduced simultaneously by a pair of DNA polymerases that travel along the replication fork in opposite directions. The complex molecular machinery that is responsible for seamless DNA synthesis is only now becoming understood, in large part due to the resolution of the structures of the various molecular players. In a Perspective, von Hippel and Jing discuss new findings ( Keck et al.) that reveal the inner workings of one of the many components of this molecular machinery, the DNA primase.