DNA Structure and Replication

ID #2075

I read in the book about replication that they think the DNA actually threads through the Polymerase complex instead of the polymerase moving along the DNA and I didn't understand the illustration in the book and how that would all work. I thought in lecture we said that Polymerase moves along the strand,


The difference between these two hypothetical models of DNA replication is not the molecules involved or the order in which they act, it's a matter of what moves and what is stationary. Have you ever seen one of those "horizontal escalators" in an airport (I think they're called people movers)? This provides a good example of relative movement. Imagine that I'm standing on one of those people movers and go by you, but you can't see my feet. Technically, you don't know whether I'm walking on the floor, or whether the floor is moving beneath me, but the end result is that I have moved relative to your position. So you can think of a replication complex as moving along a stationary piece of DNA, or you can think of a stationary replication complex having DNA "fed" into it. Either way, the end result is going to be the same -- the DNA will be copied.

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