One of the challenges in cancer biology is to understand what happens when the molecular mechanisms of a normal cell become dysfunctional and cause cancer. Maintaining genome stability during DNA synthesis is critical to prevent diseases. We are studying how genome integrity is preserved and the consequences of modifying the program of DNA replication.
Replication fork movement does not proceed smoothly throughout the genome, but encounters multiple types of impediments. DNA regions that are bound by non-nucleosomal protein complexes and sequences that form secondary DNA structures are known natural impediments to the replication fork. We are using the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe to study how replication fork is coordinated at natural fork impediments. We aim to elucidate factors that facilitate fork progression to ensure genome stability.