Single-molecule visualization of stalled replication-fork rescue by the Escherichia coli Rep helicase

Publication Name

Nucleic acids research


Genome duplication occurs while the template DNA is bound by numerous DNA-binding proteins. Each of these proteins act as potential roadblocks to the replication fork and can have deleterious effects on cells. In Escherichia coli, these roadblocks are displaced by the accessory helicase Rep, a DNA translocase and helicase that interacts with the replisome. The mechanistic details underlying the coordination with replication and roadblock removal by Rep remain poorly understood. Through real-time fluorescence imaging of the DNA produced by individual E. coli replisomes and the simultaneous visualization of fluorescently-labeled Rep, we show that Rep continually surveils elongating replisomes. We found that this association of Rep with the replisome is stochastic and occurs independently of whether the fork is stalled or not. Further, we visualize the efficient rescue of stalled replication forks by directly imaging individual Rep molecules as they remove a model protein roadblock, dCas9, from the template DNA. Using roadblocks of varying DNA-binding stabilities, we conclude that continuation of synthesis is the rate-limiting step of stalled replication rescue.

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National Institutes of Health



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