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What is the function of a replication fork?

The replication fork is the area where DNA replication actually takes place. Once these two strands are opened and exposed, they serve as the template for DNA polymerase to add matching complementary nucleotides to the growing strand, thus replicating the DNA.

What are the steps of DNA replication?

The three steps in the process of DNA replication are initiation, elongation and termination. Replication depends on the pairing of bases between the two strands of DNA. The A base can only bind to a T, and a C can only bind to a G. In the DNA double helix, the bases of one strand face across and bind to those of the other strand.

What is the role of RNA primer in replication?

As the lagging strand is exposed, RNA primers are needed in order to start the replication process. The RNA primer will attach to the most 5' end of the exposed portion of the lagging strand. This primer then allows DNA polymerase to attach and add the complementary strand to the lagging strand in small segments known as Okazaki fragments.

What is the role of DNA helicase in replication?

Helicase breaks the hydrogen bonds between the nitrogenous bases at the origin of replication causing the two strands of DNA to unwind or separate, forming the replication bubble. As the DNA opens at the replication bubble, two Y-shaped structures called DNA replication forks form at the two ends of the bubble.

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