Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Genes Dev. 2000 Nov 15;14(22):2881-92.

Preferential relaxation of positively supercoiled DNA by E. coli topoisomerase IV in single-molecule and ensemble measurements.

Author information

  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


We show that positively supercoiled [(+) SC] DNA is the preferred substrate for Escherichia coli topoisomerase IV (topo IV). We measured topo IV relaxation of (-) and (+) supercoils in real time on single, tethered DNA molecules to complement ensemble experiments. We find that the preference for (+) SC DNA is complete at low enzyme concentration. Otherwise, topo IV relaxed (+) supercoils at a 20-fold faster rate than (-) supercoils, due primarily to about a 10-fold increase in processivity with (+) SC DNA. The preferential cleavage of (+) SC DNA in a competition experiment showed that substrate discrimination can take place prior to strand passage in the presence or absence of ATP. We propose that topo IV discriminates between (-) and (+) supercoiled DNA by recognition of the geometry of (+) SC DNA. Our results explain how topo IV can rapidly remove (+) supercoils to support DNA replication without relaxing the essential (-) supercoils of the chromosome. They also show that the rate of supercoil relaxation by topo IV is several orders of magnitude faster than hitherto appreciated, so that a single enzyme may suffice at each replication fork.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (6)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk