DNA Structure and Replication

ID #2217

What's the difference between helicase and topoisomerase? It seems that they have very similar if not the same jobs, however, DNA helicase and DNA gyrase are two different classes of molecule –– considering that helicase is not referred to as a topoisomerase but DNA gyrase is.

You are right, helicases and topoisomerases are two different classes of enzymes. DNA gyrase is a specific example of a topoisomerase. 

Helicases unwind double-stranded DNA (among a few other activities that we haven't talked about) and in the process break hydrogen bonds. Topoisomerases work on double-stranded DNA to relive or induce supercoils. 

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