Biology » DNA Structure and Function » DNA Replication in Eukaryotes

Summarizing DNA Replication in Eukaryotes

Summary

Replication in eukaryotes starts at multiple origins of replication. The mechanism is quite similar to prokaryotes. A primer is required to initiate synthesis, which is then extended by DNA polymerase as it adds nucleotides one by one to the growing chain. The leading strand is synthesized continuously, whereas the lagging strand is synthesized in short stretches called Okazaki fragments. The RNA primers are replaced with DNA nucleotides; the DNA remains one continuous strand by linking the DNA fragments with DNA ligase. The ends of the chromosomes pose a problem as polymerase is unable to extend them without a primer. Telomerase, an enzyme with an inbuilt RNA template, extends the ends by copying the RNA template and extending one end of the chromosome. DNA polymerase can then extend the DNA using the primer. In this way, the ends of the chromosomes are protected.

Glossary

telomerase

enzyme that contains a catalytic part and an inbuilt RNA template; it functions to maintain telomeres at chromosome ends

telomere

DNA at the end of linear chromosomes

[Attributions and Licenses]


This is a lesson from the tutorial, DNA Structure and Function and you are encouraged to log in or register, so that you can track your progress.

Log In

Share Thoughts