Polyubiquitylation drives replisome disassembly at the termination of DNA replication

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Science  24 Oct 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6208, pp. 477-481
DOI: 10.1126/science.1253585

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How to stop after copying the genome

Replication is highly regulated: Failure to copy any part of the genome or copying parts of it more than once can cause genome instability with potentially disastrous consequences. Maric et al. and Priego Moreno et al. show that the DNA replication machinery, which stably encircles DNA during the duplication process, is actively disassembled once replication is complete (see the Perspective by Bell). The protein ring encircling the DNA is covalently modified, which allows it to be opened and the whole replication complex to be removed from DNA by a special disassembly complex.

Science, this issue 10.1126/science.1253596, p. 477; see also p. 418


Resolution of replication forks during termination of DNA replication is essential for accurate duplication of eukaryotic genomes. Here we present evidence consistent with the idea that polyubiquitylation of a replisome component (Mcm7) leads to its disassembly at the converging terminating forks because of the action of the p97/VCP/Cdc48 protein remodeler. Using Xenopus laevis egg extract, we have shown that blocking polyubiquitylation results in the prolonged association of the active helicase with replicating chromatin. The Mcm7 subunit is the only component of the active helicase that we find polyubiquitylated during replication termination. The observed polyubiquitylation is followed by disassembly of the active helicase dependent on p97/VCP/Cdc48. Altogether, our data provide insight into the mechanism of replisome disassembly during eukaryotic DNA replication termination.

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