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What is the definition of replication fork?

The replication fork is a very active area where DNA replication takes place. It is created when DNA helicase unwinds the double helix structure of the DNA. The replication fork looks like a fork in the road that is composed of a leading strand and a lagging strand of DNA.

What does the replication fork do?

Replication Fork. The replication fork is a structure which is formed during the process of DNA replication. It is activated by helicases, which helps in breaking the hydrogen bonds, and holds the two strands of the helix. The resulting structure has two branching’s which is known as prongs, where each one is made up of single strand of DNA.

What are the sides of the replication fork called?

This is called the leading strand. The other strand is called the lagging strand. On the lagging strand, the new strand's 3'-hydroxyl end points away from the replication fork. This forces the elongation process to occur in a discontinuous manner. As replication moves along the template strand, a series of shorter DNA polymers form.

How many origins of replication for each replication fork?

Two replication forks are formed at the origin of replication and these get extended bi-directionally as replication proceeds. Single-strand binding proteins (Figure 2) coat the single strands of DNA near the replication fork to prevent the single-stranded DNA from winding back into a double helix.

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