7.2 - DNA Replication

7.2.1 - State that DNA replication occurs in a 5' → 3' direction
The 3’ end of the nucleotide is a free -OH group. The 5’ end of
the free DNA nucleotide is added to the 3’ end of the chain of
nucleotides that is already synthesised.

7.2.2 - Explain the process of DNA replication in prokaryotes, including the role of
enzymes (helicase, DNA polymerase, RNA primase and DNA ligase), Okazaki fragments
and deoxynucleoside triphosphates
In prokaryotes, the initiation spot on the DNA is called the ori, or origin point. Replications
finishes at the ter spot, or termination point.
DNA Helicase
This binds to the double helix to stimulate the separation
of the strands. The hydrogen bonds between base pairs
break to form replication forks. The helicase is located at
these replication forks.

DNA Polymerase
Polymerase III replicates DNA in a 5’ to 3’ direction along the leading strand. It starts at the
RNA primer, adding nucleotides using complementary base pairing and moving in the
direction of the replication fork. On the other hand, along the lagging strand, polymerase III
moves away from the replication fork. This results in the formation of Okazaki fragments.
Polymerase I replaces the RNA primers with DNA. However, there is still a gap where two
nucleotides have not been connected.
It is possible that errors may occur during replication, but the polymerase has mechanisms
of back-checking for mutations.
Okazaki Fragments
These are short strands of DNA that are formed on the lagging strand. Each one is initiated
at the replication fork, and is later joined to form one continuous length by DNA ligase. The
leading strand is replicated in one continuous length

RNA Primase
For replication to occur, a free 3’ hydroxyl group is required. Primase synthesises at the
initiation sites.

DNA Ligase
Gaps a made in the DNA from where the primer is
removed. Ligase closes the gap by forming a covalent bond
between the phosphate groups and the neighbouring
fragments are joined.
Deoxynucleoside Triphosphates
The free nucleotides have three phosphates. During polymerisation, the condensation
reaction, two are removed so that only one remains to form the backbone

7.2.3 - State that DNA replication is initiated at many points in eukaryotic chromosomes
Prokaryotic DNA is replicated in a continuous
loop. On the other hand, eukaryotic DNA is
replicated at multiple points to speed up the
reaction. The DNA is unwound at multiple
points along the helix into bubbles that expand,
allowing replication to continue in both
direction. The bubbles eventually fuse.

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