• DNA binding • protein binding • DNA polymerase processivity factor activity • MutLalpha complex binding
• cyclin-dependent protein kinase holoenzyme complex • nucleus • nuclear lamina • DNA replication factor C complex • PCNA complex
• regulation of progression through cell cycle • DNA replication • regulation of DNA replication • DNA repair • base-excision repair, gap-filling • intracellular protein transport • cell proliferation • phosphoinositide-mediated signaling
Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen, commonly known as PCNA, is a protein that acts as a processivity factor for DNA polymerase delta in eukaryotic cells. It achieves this processivity by encircling the DNA, thus creating a topological link to the genome. It is an example of a DNA clamp.
The protein encoded by this gene is found in the nucleus and is a cofactor of DNA polymerase delta. The encoded protein acts as a homotrimer and helps increase the processivity of leading strand synthesis during DNA replication. In response to DNA damage, this protein is ubiquitinated and is involved in the RAD6-dependent DNA repair pathway. Two transcript variants encoding the same protein have been found for this gene. Pseudogenes of this gene have been described on chromosome 4 and on the X chromosome.
PCNA was originally identified as an antigen that is expressed in the nuclei of cells during the DNA synthesis phase of the cell cycle. Part of the protein was sequenced and that sequence was used to allow isolation of a cDNA clone . PCNA helps hold DNA polymerase delta (Pol δ) to DNA. PCNA is clamped  to DNA through the action of replication factor C (RFC) , which is a heteropentameric member of the AAA+ class of ATPases. Expression of PCNA is under the control of E2Ftranscription factor-containing complexes .
Role in DNA repair
Since DNA polymerase delta is involved in resynthesis of excised damaged DNA strands during DNA repair, PCNA is important for both DNA synthesis and DNA repair . PCNA is also involved in the switch to DNA damage bypass translation synthesis.
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