Reference: Majka J and Burgers PM (2004) The PCNA-RFC families of DNA clamps and clamp loaders. Prog Nucleic Acid Res Mol Biol 78:227-60

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Abstract


The proliferating cell nuclear antigen PCNA functions at multiple levels in directing DNA metabolic pathways. Unbound to DNA, PCNA promotes localization of replication factors with a consensus PCNA-binding domain to replication factories. When bound to DNA, PCNA organizes various proteins involved in DNA replication, DNA repair, DNA modification, and chromatin modeling. Its modification by ubiquitin directs the cellular response to DNA damage. The ring-like PCNA homotrimer encircles double-stranded DNA and slides spontaneously across it. Loading of PCNA onto DNA at template-primer junctions is performed in an ATP-dependent process by replication factor C (RFC), a heteropentameric AAA+ protein complex consisting of the Rfc1, Rfc2, Rfc3, Rfc4, and Rfc5 subunits. Loading of yeast PCNA (POL30) is mechanistically distinct from analogous processes in E. coli (beta subunit by the gamma complex) and bacteriophage T4 (gp45 by gp44/62). Multiple stepwise ATP-binding events to RFC are required to load PCNA onto primed DNA. This stepwise mechanism should permit editing of this process at individual steps and allow for divergence of the default process into more specialized modes. Indeed, alternative RFC complexes consisting of the small RFC subunits together with an alternative Rfc1-like subunit have been identified. A complex required for the DNA damage checkpoint contains the Rad24 subunit, a complex required for sister chromatid cohesion contains the Ctf18 subunit, and a complex that aids in genome stability contains the Elg1 subunit. Only the RFC-Rad24 complex has a known associated clamp, a heterotrimeric complex consisting of Rad17, Mec3, and Ddc1. The other putative clamp loaders could either act on clamps yet to be identified or act on the two known clamps.

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Journal Article | Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S. | Review
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Majka J, Burgers PM
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