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Genome amplification (DNA synthesis) is one of the most demanding cellular processes in all proliferative cells. The DNA replication machinery (also known as the replisome) orchestrates genome amplification during S-phase of the cell cycle. Genetic material is particularly vulnerable to various events that can challenge the replisome during its assembly, activation (firing), progression (elongation) and disassembly from chromatin (termination). Any disturbance of the replisome leads to stalling of the DNA replication fork and firing of dormant replication origins, a process known as DNA replication stress. DNA replication stress is considered to be one of the main causes of sporadic cancers and other pathologies related to tissue degeneration and ageing. The mechanisms of replisome assembly and elongation during DNA synthesis are well understood. However, once DNA synthesis is complete, the process of replisome disassembly, and its removal from chromatin, remains unclear. In recent years, a growing body of evidence has alluded to a central role in replisome regulation for the ubiquitin-dependent protein segregase p97, also known as valosin-containing protein (VCP) in metazoans and Cdc48 in lower eukaryotes. By orchestrating the spatiotemporal turnover of the replisome, p97 plays an essential role in DNA replication. In this review, we will summarise our current knowledge about how p97 controls the replisome from replication initiation, to elongation and finally termination. We will also further examine the more recent findings concerning the role of p97 and how mutations in p97 cofactors, also known as adaptors, cause DNA replication stress induced genomic instability that leads to cancer and accelerated ageing. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive review concerning the mechanisms involved in the regulation of DNA replication by p97.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





17 - 32


Ageing, Cancer, DNA replication, Human syndromes, Ubiquitin, p97, Aging, Animals, DNA Repair, DNA Replication, DNA-Binding Proteins, Disease Susceptibility, Fanconi Anemia, Humans, Neoplasms, Protein Binding, Ubiquitin, Valosin Containing Protein