Interaction of PCNA with DNA polymerase is vital to efficient and processive DNA synthesis. PCNA being a homotrimeric ring possesses three hydrophobic pockets mostly involved in an interaction with its binding partners. PCNA interacting proteins contain a short sequence of eight amino acids, popularly coined as PIP motif, which snuggly fits into the hydrophobic pocket of PCNA to stabilize the interaction. In the last two decades, several PIP motifs have been mapped or predicted in eukaryotic DNA polymerases. In this review, we summarize our understandings of DNA polymerase-PCNA interaction, the function of such interaction during DNA synthesis, and emphasize the lacunae that persist. Because of the presence of multiple ligands in the replisome complex and due to many interaction sites in DNA polymerases, we also propose two modes of DNA polymerase positioning on PCNA required for DNA synthesis to rationalize the tool-belt model of DNA replication.

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