The replication fork is a structure that forms during DNA replication. It is created by helicases, which break the hydrogen bonds holding the two DNA strands together. The resulting structure has two branching "prongs", each one made up of a single strand of DNA, that are called the leading and lagging strands. DNA polymerase creates new partners for the two strands by adding nucleotides.
When replicating, the original DNA splits in two, forming two "prongs" which resemble a fork (i.e. the "replication fork"). DNA has a ladder-like structure; imagine a ladder broken in half vertically, along the steps. Each half of the ladder now requires a new half to match it.
On the lagging strand, primase "reads" the DNA and adds RNA to it in short, separated segments. DNA polymerase III lengthens the primed segments, forming Okazaki fragments. DNA polymerase I then "reads" the fragments, removes the RNA using its flap endonuclease domain, and replaces the RNA nucleotides with DNA nucleotides (this is necessary because RNA and DNA use slightly different kinds of nucleotides). DNA ligase joins the fragments together.
Strand-specific recognition of a synthetic DNA replication fork by the SV40 large tumor antigen. (simian virus 40)
Jun 19, 1992; The processes of DNA replication, DNA recombination, and DNA repair require the conversion of relatively inert doublestranded DNA...
Sap1 Promotes the Association of the Replication Fork Protection Complex with Chromatin and Is Involved in the Replication Checkpoint in Schizosaccharomyces Pombe
Feb 01, 2007; ABSTRACT Sap1 is involved in replication fork pausing at rDNA repeats and functions during mating-type switching in...