Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to do the following:

Discuss the similarities and also differences between DNA replication in eukaryotes and prokaryotesState the role of telomerase in DNA replication

Eukaryotic genomes are much more complex and bigger in size than prokaryotes genomes. Eukaryotes additionally have a variety of different linear chromosomes. The person genome has 3 billion basic pairs every haploid set of chromosomes, and also 6 billion basic pairs room replicated throughout the S step of the cell cycle. There are multiple origins of replication top top each eukaryotic chromosome; humans deserve to have as much as 100,000 origins of replication across the genome. The rate of replication is roughly 100 nucleotides per second, lot slower than prokaryotic replication. In yeast, which is a eukaryote, unique sequences known as autonomously replicating assignment (ARS) are uncovered on the chromosomes. This are identical to the beginning of replication in E. Coli.

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The number of DNA polymerases in eukaryotes is much much more than in prokaryotes: 14 are known, that which five are recognized to have major roles during replication and also have to be well studied. They are recognized as pol α, pol β, pol γ, pol δ, and also pol ε.

The essential steps that replication room the exact same as in prokaryotes. Before replication deserve to start, the DNA has to be made easily accessible as a template. Eukaryotic bio DNA is bound to basic proteins well-known as histones to kind structures referred to as nucleosomes. Histones must be removed and then replaced throughout the replication process, which help to account because that the lower replication rate in eukaryotes. The chromatin (the complex between DNA and also proteins) might undergo some chemical modifications, so that the DNA may be able to slide off the protein or be available to the enzymes of the DNA replication machinery. In ~ the beginning of replication, a pre-replication facility is do with various other initiator proteins. Helicase and other proteins room then recruited to start the replication procedure ((Figure)).

Difference between Prokaryotic and also Eukaryotic ReplicationPropertyProkaryotesEukaryotes
Origin of replicationSingleMultiple
Rate that replication1000 nucleotides/s50 to 100 nucleotides/s
DNA polymerase types514
TelomeraseNot presentPresent
RNA inside wall removalDNA pol IRNase H
Strand elongationDNA pol IIIPol α, pol δ, pol ε
Sliding clampSliding clampPCNA

A helicase making use of the power from ATP hydrolysis opens up up the DNA helix. Replication forks are developed at each replication origin as the DNA unwinds. The opening of the dual helix causes over-winding, or supercoiling, in the DNA front of the replication fork. These are fixed with the action of topoisomerases. Primers are created by the enzyme primase, and also using the primer, DNA pol deserve to start synthesis. Three major DNA polymerases are then involved: α, δ and also ε. DNA pol α to add a quick (20 to 30 nucleotides) DNA fragment to the RNA primer on both strands, and also then hands turn off to a second polymerase. If the leading strand is continuously synthesized by the enzyme pol δ, the lagging strand is synthesized by pol ε. A sliding clamp protein known as PCNA (proliferating cabinet nuclear antigen) holds the DNA pol in place so that it does no slide turn off the DNA. As pol δ runs right into the primer RNA top top the lagging strand, it displaces it from the DNA template. The displaced primer RNA is then gotten rid of by RNase H (AKA flap endonuclease) and replaced through DNA nucleotides. The Okazaki fragments in the lagging strand are joined ~ the instead of of the RNA primers v DNA. The gaps that stay are sealed by DNA ligase, which creates the phosphodiester bond.

Telomere replication

Unlike prokaryotes chromosomes, eukaryotic bio chromosomes are linear. Together you’ve learned, the enzyme DNA pol can include nucleotides just in the 5′ come 3′ direction. In the top strand, synthesis proceeds until the finish of the chromosome is reached. Top top the lagging strand, DNA is synthesized in short stretches, every of which is initiated by a separate primer. As soon as the replication fork reaches the finish of the direct chromosome, there is no method to change the primer on the 5’ end of the lagging strand. The DNA at the end of the chromosome thus remains unpaired, and over time these ends, dubbed telomeres, may gain progressively much shorter as cells continue to divide.

Telomeres comprise repetitive assignment that code for no particular gene. In humans, a six-base-pair sequence, TTAGGG, is repetitive 100 come 1000 time in the telomere regions. In a way, this telomeres defend the gene from acquiring deleted together cells continue to divide. The telomeres are added to the end of chromosomes by a different enzyme, telomerase ((Figure)), whose exploration helped in the knowledge of exactly how these repetitive chromosome ends room maintained. The telomerase enzyme contains a catalytic part and a integrated RNA template. It attaches come the end of the chromosome, and also DNA nucleotides complementary to the RNA template are included on the 3′ finish of the DNA strand. As soon as the 3′ end of the lagging strand layout is sufficiently elongated, DNA polymerase can include the nucleotides complementary come the end of the chromosomes. Thus, the end of the chromosomes space replicated.


Telomerase and AgingCells the undergo cell department continue to have actually their telomeres shortened due to the fact that most somatic cells perform not do telomerase. This essentially means that telomere shortening is connected with aging. Through the advent of modern-day medicine, preventative health and wellness care, and also healthier lifestyles, the person life span has increased, and there is an enhancing demand for people to look at younger and have a much better quality that life as they flourish older.

In 2010, scientists uncovered that telomerase have the right to reverse some age-related problems in mice. This may have potential in regenerative medicine.1 Telomerase-deficient mice were provided in this studies; this mice have tissue atrophy, stem cabinet depletion, organ device failure, and also impaired organization injury responses. Telomerase reactivation in these mice caused expansion of telomeres, diminished DNA damage, reversed neurodegeneration, and also improved the role of the testes, spleen, and also intestines. Thus, telomere reactivation may have potential for dealing with age-related conditions in humans.

Cancer is characterized by untreated cell division of abnormal cells. The cells accumulate mutations, proliferate uncontrollably, and can move to different parts of the body through a process called metastasis. Scientists have actually observed the cancerous cells have considerably shortened telomeres and also that telomerase is active in this cells. Interestingly, only after the telomeres to be shortened in the cancer cell did the telomerase come to be active. If the action of telomerase in this cells can be inhibited by drugs during cancer therapy, then the cancerous cells can potentially be quit from more division.

Section Summary

Replication in eukaryotes starts at multiple beginnings of replication. The mechanism is quite similar to the in prokaryotes. A inside wall is required to initiate synthesis, i beg your pardon is then expanded by DNA polymerase together it add to nucleotides one by one come the farming chain. The top strand is synthesized continuously, conversely, the lagging strand is synthesized in brief stretches referred to as Okazaki fragments. The RNA primers are replaced with DNA nucleotides; the DNA Okazaki pieces are attached into one consistent strand by DNA ligase. The ends of the chromosomes pose a trouble as the primer RNA in ~ the 5’ ends of the DNA cannot be replaced with DNA, and the chromosome is increasingly shortened. Telomerase, one enzyme v an inbuilt RNA template, extend the ends by copy the RNA template and extending one strand the the chromosome. DNA polymerase can then fill in the security DNA strand utilizing the regular replication enzymes. In this way, the ends of the chromosomes space protected.

Review Questions

The ends of the direct chromosomes are preserved by

helicaseprimaseDNA poltelomerase


i beg your pardon of the following is not a true explain comparing prokaryotic and also eukaryotic DNA replication?

Both eukaryotic and also prokaryotic DNA polymerases construct off RNA primers made by primase.Eukaryotic DNA replication needs multiple replication forks, while prokaryotic replication offers a single origin to quickly replicate the entire genome.DNA replication constantly occurs in the nucleus.Eukaryotic DNA replication involves more polymerases 보다 prokaryotic replication.

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Critical thinking Questions

How execute the direct chromosomes in eukaryotes ensure the its ends space replicated completely?

Telomerase has an inbuilt RNA theme that expand the 3′ end, so inside wall is synthesized and also extended. Thus, the ends space protected.


telomeraseenzyme that consists of a catalytic part and one inbuilt RNA template; it features to keep telomeres at chromosome endstelomereDNA in ~ the end of straight chromosomes