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Mol Microbiol. 2004 May;52(4):925-31.

Untangling intracellular DNA topology.

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Molecular Biology Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.


The biochemical steps by which bacterial topoisomerases alter the topology of DNA are well known. However, it has been a more vexing task to establish physiological roles and sites of action of the different topoisomerases within the context of the bacterial cell cycle. This difficulty can be attributed in part to the redundancy among the activities of the different enzymes. In this microreview, we will focus on recent progress in understanding the topological structure of the chromosome, analysis of topoisomerase mechanism in single-molecule assays and recent data on the regulation and integration of topoisomerase activity within the cell cycle that have all brought a new perspective to the action of topoisomerases in the bacterial cell.

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