Two active components alpha and beta of micrococcus luteus DNA gyrase, of peptide weights of 115,000 and 97,000, respectively, have been purified. Each individual component exhibits little DNA gyrase activity; the ATP-dependent negative supercoiling of a covalently closed circular DNA duplex is catalyzed by a combination of the two. Covalent closure by Escherichia coli ligase of a circular DNA containing single-chain scissions, when carried out in the presence of a combination of the DNA gyrase components alpha and beta, gives a positively supercoiled DNA upon removal of the bound protein molecules. ATP was not present during the ligase treatment; therefore the positive supercoiling of DNA observed is a result of the binding of gyrase molecules, presumably as multi-subunit oligomers, during the ligation step. This is in contrast to the negative supercoiling of DNA catalyzed by gyrase in the presence of ATP. A model in which negative supercoiling of DNA is achieved by ATP-modulated repetitive wrapping of the DNA around gyrase is described. The model also suggests a plausible mode of action by which translocation of a DNA along its helix axis can be actively driven by an ATPase.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - May 1978
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