What Roles Do Proteins Play in DNA Replication?

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According to class resources from North Dakota State University, proteins play the role of unwinding and separating a double-stranded DNA molecule. The proteins are necessary because DNA cannot replicate unless it is single-stranded.

North Dakota State University class resources state that there are six proteins involved in DNA replication. These six proteins work in a specific order to separate DNA. The process is explained in chronological order. First, DNA helicase binds to the double-stranded DNA molecule and begins the separation process. Second, DNA single-stranded binding proteins bind to the DNA molecule and stabilize the single-stranded structure.

North Dakota State University class resources claim that DNA replication is 100 times faster when these proteins are attached to the single-stranded DNA. Next, DNA gyrase catalyzes the formation of supercoils, a process thought to aid in the unwinding process. Then, DNA polymerase I and II proofread and repair polymerase activity, while DNA polymerase III is performing the polymerase function. Then, primase synthesizes RNA primers to fulfill the requirement for a free hydroxyl group. Nicks can occur in the forming of a DNA molecule as RNA primer is removed and the synthesizing process proceeds on the lagging strand. To fix this issue, DNA ligase links any nicks made between hydroxyl and phosphate groups.