Reverse Gyrase

  • M. Duguet
Part of the Nucleic Acids and Molecular Biology book series (NUCLEIC, volume 9)


Reverse gyrase is a fascinating enzyme for many reasons. Apart from its unique ability to introduce positive supercoils in a closed circular DNA at temperatures up to 100 °C, it is the first example of an ATP-dependent type I topoisomerase. Although it was isolated from hyperthermophiles, organisms considered by several authors as very primitive, close to the root of the tree of life (Woese et al. 1990; Olsen et al. 1994), reverse gyrase appears as an extraordinarily sophisticated enzyme: as developed in this chapter, it is probably composed of two intercommunicating domains, a topoisomerase and a putative helicase, in which several movements and conformational changes take place, promoting DNA cleavage, strand passage and resealing as other topoisomerases, but also supercoiling by a mechanism yet unknown, that may involve a local strand separation by a helicase-like activity.


Reverse Gyrase Negative Supercoils Strand Cleavage Sulfolobus Acidocaldarius Positive Supercoiling 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Duguet
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Enzymologie des Acides Nucléiques, Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie, URA 1354 CNRSUniversité Paris SudOrsayFrance

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