Stalled forks

Definition

Replication fork stalling occurs if the replication proteins, or replisome, encounter problems. Stalled forks activate checkpoint signalling and therefore pause replication.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Determining the molecular mechanisms responsible for trinucleotide DNA repeat expansions is critical, as such expansions underlie many neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders. Mirkin and colleagues now propose that large-scale expansions of trinucleotide repeats can be generated by DNA-break-induced replication.

    • Juraj Kramara
    • , Beth Osia
    •  & Anna Malkova
  • News and Views |

    Although known to induce cellular senescence, an important tumour suppressor mechanism, mutation of CDKN1A — the gene encoding p21 (also known as WAF1 or CIP1) — is rare in human cancers. Now, a study reports a previously unappreciated oncogenic effect of p21 overexpression that shapes cancer genome evolution through induction of replication stress.

    • Vasily S. Romanov
    •  & K. Lenhard Rudolph
    Nature Cell Biology 18, 722–724
  • News and Views |

    Faithful bypass of replication forks encountering obstructive DNA lesions is essential to prevent fork collapse and cell death. PrimPol is a new human primase and translesion polymerase that is able to bypass fork-blocking UV-induced lesions and to restart replication by origin-independent repriming.

    • Thomas Helleday
  • Research Highlights |

    Simon Boulton and colleagues have found that the 3′–5′ superfamily 2 helicase HELQ is important to prevent germ cell attrition and tumour development in mice.

    • Nicola McCarthy