Chromosome replication is performed by numerous proteins that function together as a “replisome”. The replisome machinery duplicates both strands of the parental DNA simultaneously. Upon DNA damage to the cell, replisome action produces single-strand DNA to which RecA binds, enabling its activity in cleaving the LexA repressor and thus inducing the SOS response. How singlestrand DNA is produced by a replisome acting on damaged DNA is not clear. For many years it has been assumed the single-strand DNA is generated by the replicative helicase, which continues unwinding DNA even after DNA polymerase stalls at a template lesion. Recent studies indicate another source of the single-strand DNA, resulting from an inherently dynamic replisome that may hop over template lesions on both leading and lagging strands, thereby leaving single-strand gaps in the wake of the replication fork. These single-strand gaps are proposed to be the origin of the single-strand DNA that triggers the SOS response after DNA damage.
SOS response, Translesion Synthesis, DNA repair, lesion bypass, DNA polymerase, Sliding Clamp, Review