Indexed on: 24 Jun '06Published on: 24 Jun '06Published in: Methods in enzymology
Replication of the eukaryotic genome is a difficult task, as cells must coordinate chromosome replication with chromatin remodeling, DNA recombination, DNA repair, transcription, cell cycle progression, and sister chromatid cohesion. Yet, DNA replication is a potentially genotoxic process, particularly when replication forks encounter a bulge in the template: forks under these conditions may stall and restart or even break down leading to fork collapse. It is now clear that fork collapse stimulates chromosomal rearrangements and therefore represents a potential source of DNA damage. Hence, the comprehension of the mechanisms that preserve replication fork integrity or that promote fork collapse are extremely relevant for the understanding of the cellular processes controlling genome stability. Here we describe some experimental approaches that can be used to physically visualize the quality of replication forks in the yeast S. cerevisiae and to distinguish between stalled and collapsed forks.