DNA replication and transcription

In summary, DNA replication and transcription both involve polymerases competing for the same strand of DNA, which could potentially cause traffic jams. However, research by Bruce Alberts and Mike O'Donnell has shown that DNA polymerase is able to bypass RNA polymerases during replication. This process has been studied at a molecular level and is not covered in most courses.
  • #1
gfd43tg
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Hello,

I notice that when DNA is replicated, it is split apart. This is the same as the start of transcription, however I suppose the difference is that DNA is replicated with DNA polymerase, and RNA with RNA polymerase. Do these two polymerases compete for a strand of DNA in order to do their polymerization?
 
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  • #2
Yes, they both compete for the same strand of DNA, which one might think would be problematic. Because replication and transcription are occurring at the same time in many cells, one could imagine collisions between the two polymerases causing traffic jams on the DNA. Bruce Alberts investigated what happens when RNA and DNA polymerases collide and found that DNA polymerase was surprisingly able to bypass RNA polymerases transcribing the same DNA that the DNA polymerase was trying to replicate (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7855590). More recently, Mike O'Donnell's lab figured out some of the details about how this process occurs at the molecular level (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3918965/).
 
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Cool stuff, sounds like it is beyond the scope of my course. I just thought it strange how these two are introduced as if they happen in a vacuum
 

1. What is DNA replication?

DNA replication is the process by which a cell makes an exact copy of its DNA. This is necessary for cell division and the ability to pass on genetic information to offspring.

2. How does DNA replication occur?

DNA replication occurs through a semi-conservative process, meaning that each new DNA molecule consists of one original strand and one newly synthesized strand. It involves the separation of the two DNA strands, followed by the synthesis of new complementary strands using the original strands as a template.

3. What is the role of enzymes in DNA replication?

Enzymes such as helicase, DNA polymerase, and ligase are essential for DNA replication. Helicase unwinds the double helix, DNA polymerase adds new nucleotides to the growing DNA strand, and ligase helps to join the newly synthesized fragments together.

4. What is the difference between DNA replication and transcription?

DNA replication is the process of making a copy of DNA, while transcription is the process of making a copy of a specific segment of DNA into mRNA. DNA replication occurs in the nucleus, while transcription occurs in the nucleus or cytoplasm.

5. How is DNA replication and transcription regulated?

DNA replication and transcription are regulated by various mechanisms, including the binding of specific proteins to DNA sequences, the availability of nucleotides, and the presence of specific signals or cues from the environment. These regulatory mechanisms ensure that DNA replication and transcription occur accurately and at the appropriate times in the cell cycle.

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