DNA Structure and Replication

ID #1686

Our handouts mention that topoisomerases can wind or unwind DNA. Does this mean that the topoisomerases flatten the double helix into a planar structure, or that the double helix is denatured into two separate strands?

It doesn't actually mean either one of these. It should be clear so far that each strand of a double helix is wound around the other. What topoisomerases do is either increase or decrease the degree of winding, causing supercoils to be either induced or relaxed.

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