During cellular DNA replication the lagging strand is generated as discontinuous segments called Okazaki fragments. Each contains an initiator RNA primer that is removed prior to joining of the strands. Primer removal in eukaryotes requires displacement of the primer into a flap that is cleaved off by flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1). FEN1 employs a unique tracking mechanism that requires the recognition of the free 5 terminus and then movement to the base of the flap for cleavage. Abnormally long flaps are coated …
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