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Illuminating a critical step in initiating DNA replication in eukaryotes

Posted by on Tuesday, March 26, 2024 in Uncategorized.

The research teams of Brandt Eichman, Professor and Chair of Biological Sciences and Professor of Biochemistry, and Walter Chazin, Professor of Biochemistry, worked together to understand how DNA replication is initiated in eukaryotes. Using Vanderbilt’s state-of-the-art instrumentation in the Center for Structural Biology’s Cryo-Electron Microscopy Facility, Eichman, Chazin, and their colleagues provided detailed visualizations of DNA polymerase α–primase, the multifunctional protein responsible for synthesis of RNA-DNA primers needed for genome duplication humans, in action.

Cryo-electron microscopy images of DNA polymerase α–primase at various stages of DNA synthesis revealed a remarkable range of motion between subunits

Eichman and Chazin’s reflections on this research can be found here.

The paper “A mechanistic model of primer synthesis from catalytic structures of DNA polymerase α–primase” was published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology on March 15, 2024.