A Decade of Discovery—Eukaryotic Replisome Disassembly at Replication Termination

Rebecca M. Jones, Alicja Reynolds-Winczura, Agnieszka Gambus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Simple Summary: During cell division, DNA is duplicated through a process called DNA replication, so that each new cell inherits a copy of its own. A high level of accuracy is essential in this for the maintenance of genome stability and the prevention of genetic disorders and ageing-related diseases. In this review, we describe the current knowledge around DNA replication termination, in particular comparing and contrasting the proteins and mechanisms identified in different organisms—from archaea through to humans—but with a specific focus upon eukaryotic replication termination. We discuss when and where termination takes place, the mechanisms of replication fork convergence and the process of replisome disassembly, in both S-phase and in mitosis. Recent advances in the field have revealed high levels of regulation in the process of replisome disassembly, demonstrating the importance of timely and appropriate unloading of replication machinery. Finally, we summarise how replication termination defects may impact cellular health and raise questions to be addressed in the future within the field. Abstract: The eukaryotic replicative helicase (CMG complex) is assembled during DNA replication initiation in a highly regulated manner, which is described in depth by other manuscripts in this Issue. During DNA replication, the replicative helicase moves through the chromatin, unwinding DNA and facilitating nascent DNA synthesis by polymerases. Once the duplication of a replicon is complete, the CMG helicase and the remaining components of the replisome need to be removed from the chromatin. Research carried out over the last ten years has produced a breakthrough in our understanding, revealing that replication termination, and more specifically replisome disassembly, is indeed a highly regulated process. This review brings together our current understanding of these processes and highlights elements of the mechanism that are conserved or have undergone divergence throughout evolution. Finally, we discuss events beyond the classic termination of DNA replication in S-phase and go over the known mechanisms of replicative helicase removal from chromatin in these particular situations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number233
Number of pages24
Issue number4
Early online date31 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


  • CMG helicase
  • replication termination
  • ubiquitylation
  • replisome disassembly
  • MCM2-7


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