Helicase promotes replication re-initiation from an RNA transcript

Bo Sun, Anupam Singh, Shemaila Sultana, James T. Inman, Smita S. Patel, Michelle D. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


To ensure accurate DNA replication, a replisome must effectively overcome numerous obstacles on its DNA substrate. After encountering an obstacle, a progressing replisome often aborts DNA synthesis but continues to unwind. However, little is known about how DNA synthesis is resumed downstream of an obstacle. Here, we examine the consequences of a non-replicating replisome collision with a co-directional RNA polymerase (RNAP). Using single-molecule and ensemble methods, we find that T7 helicase interacts strongly with a non-replicating T7 DNA polymerase (DNAP) at a replication fork. As the helicase advances, the associated DNAP also moves forward. The presence of the DNAP increases both helicase's processivity and unwinding rate. We show that such a DNAP, together with its helicase, is indeed able to actively disrupt a stalled transcription elongation complex, and then initiates replication using the RNA transcript as a primer. These observations exhibit T7 helicase's novel role in replication re-initiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2306
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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