DNA Structure and Replication

ID #2157

One of the homework questions asked about Okazaki fragement synthesis. Why is it true that Okazaki fragments are synthesized on both strands of the original double stranded DNA template? Should it be false because the Okazaki fragments are only synthesized in the lagging strand?


Each strand of DNA has both a leading and a lagging portion. If you refer to your lecture note picture of DNA synthesis at the ori, on each parental template DNA can be synthesized 5'-3' from the ori toward the replication fork. This is leading strand synthesis. The remaining DNA synthesis occurs from the replication fork toward the ori 5'-3’ discontinuously, and then moves back toward the ori and works toward the previously laid down DNA 5'-3'. This is called the lagging strand synthesis.

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