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October, 2006
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DNA Replication: The process by which a DNA molecule is duplicated.

Replication in Eukaryotes

JoVE 10789

In eukaryotic cells, DNA replication is highly conserved and tightly regulated. Multiple linear chromosomes must be duplicated with high fidelity before cell division, so there are many proteins that fill specialized roles in the replication process. Replication occurs in three phases: initiation, elongation, and termination, and ends with two complete sets of chromosomes in the nucleus.

Eukaryotic replication follows many of the same principles as prokaryotic DNA replication, but because the genome is much larger and the chromosomes are linear rather than circular, the process requires more proteins and has a few key differences. Replication occurs simultaneously at multiple origins of replication along each chromosome. Initiator proteins recognize and bind to the origin, recruiting helicase to unwind the DNA double helix. At each point of origin, two replication forks form. Primase then adds short RNA primers to the single strands of DNA, which serve as a starting point for DNA polymerase to bind and begin copying the sequence. DNA can only be synthesized in the 5’ to 3’ direction, so replication of both strands from a single replication fork proceeds in two different directions. The leading strand is synthesized continuously, while the lagging strand is synthesized in short stretches 100-200 base pairs in length, called Okazaki fragments. Once the bu

 Core: Biology

Replication in Prokaryotes

JoVE 10788

DNA replication has three main steps: initiation, elongation, and termination. Replication in prokaryotes begins when initiator proteins bind to the single origin of replication (ori) on the cell’s circular chromosome. Replication then proceeds around the entire circle of the chromosome in each direction from two replication forks, resulting in two DNA molecules.

Replication is coordinated and carried out by a host of specialized proteins. Topoisomerase breaks one side of the double-stranded DNA phosphate-sugar backbone, allowing the DNA helix to unwind more rapidly, while helicase breaks the bonds between base pairs at the fork, separating the DNA into two template strands. Proteins that bind single-stranded DNA molecules stabilize the strands as the replication fork travels along the chromosome. DNA can only be synthesized in the 5’ to 3’ direction, so one strand of the template—the leading strand—is elongated continuously, while the other strand—the lagging strand—is synthesized in shorter pieces of 1000-2000 base pairs called Okazaki fragments. Much of the research to understand prokaryotic DNA replication has been performed in the bacterium Escherichia coli, a commonly-used model organism. E. coli has 5 DNA polymerases: Pol I, II, III, IV, and V. Pol III is responsible for the majority of DN

 Core: Biology

Recombinant DNA

JoVE 10808

Scientists create recombinant DNA by combining DNA from different sources—often, other species—in the laboratory. DNA cloning allows researchers to study specific genes by inserting them into easily manipulated cells, such as bacteria. Organisms that contain recombinant DNA are known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Recombinant DNA technology produces organisms with new genes that can benefit science, medicine, and agriculture. Creation of recombinant DNA involves inserting a gene of interest into a vector—a vehicle that carries foreign DNA into host cells for DNA replication and protein expression. The most commonly used cloning vectors are plasmids, small circular pieces of DNA that replicate independently from the host’s chromosomal DNA. To create recombinant DNA, both the donor DNA, including the gene of interest, and the vector are cut at specific nucleotide sequences—called restriction sites—using restriction enzymes. The enzyme DNA ligase seals the sugar-phosphate backbone where the gene of interest and plasmid connect. The result is a recombinant DNA molecule consisting of a vector with an integrated piece of donor DNA—called an insert. A scientist may then introduce this hybrid DNA molecule into a host organism—typically bacteria or yeast—where it easily and rapidly replicat

 Core: Biology

DNA Ligation Reactions

JoVE 5069

In molecular biology, ligation refers to the joining of two DNA fragments through the formation of a phosphodiester bond. An enzyme known as a ligase catalyzes the ligation reaction. In the cell, ligases repair single and double strand breaks that occur during DNA replication. In the laboratory, DNA ligase is used during molecular cloning to join DNA fragments of inserts with vectors…

 Basic Methods in Cellular and Molecular Biology

Bacterial Transformation- Concept

JoVE 10573


In early 20th century, pneumonia was accountable for a large portion of infectious disease deaths1. In order to develop an effective vaccine against pneumonia, Frederick Griffith set out to study two different strains of the Streptococcus pneumoniae: a non-virulent strain with a rough appearance (R-strain) and a virulent strain with a smooth appearance…

 Lab Bio
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