Marianna Lafleur

Marianna Lafleur

Published: 07 Sep 2023


DNA Gyrase is a crucial enzyme that plays a significant role in the replication and maintenance of DNA in living organisms. This remarkable molecule has garnered much attention in the field of biology due to its fascinating properties and essential functions. From its discovery to its intricate mechanisms, DNA Gyrase continuously astounds scientists and researchers with its incredible abilities.

In this article, we will delve into 18 unbelievable facts about DNA Gyrase, unveiling the mysteries behind its structure, function, and importance in various biological processes. Get ready to be amazed as we explore the remarkable world of this enzyme and its impact on the intricate machinery of life.

Table of Contents

DNA Gyrase Supercoils DNA

DNA gyrase is an enzyme that plays a vital role in DNA replication and maintenance. It is responsible for supercoiling the DNA molecule by introducing negative supercoils. This process helps to compact the DNA and allows for efficient packaging within the cell.

DNA Gyrase Relieves DNA Strain

Not only does DNA gyrase supercoil DNA, it also helps to relieve strain in the DNA molecule. During processes such as DNA replication or transcription, tension can build up in the DNA strands. DNA gyrase steps in and solves this problem by breaking and resealing the DNA strands, effectively relaxing the strain.

DNA Gyrase is Essential for Cell Viability

Without DNA gyrase, the cell would not be able to properly replicate or maintain its DNA. DNA gyrase is considered an essential enzyme, meaning that the cell cannot survive without it. This highlights the crucial role that DNA gyrase plays in the overall functioning of the cell.

DNA Gyrase is a Target for Antibiotics

The importance of DNA gyrase in DNA replication makes it an attractive target for antibiotics. Certain antibiotics, such as fluoroquinolones, work by inhibiting DNA gyrase, preventing the bacteria from effectively replicating their DNA. This leads to the death of the bacteria and helps in treating infections.

DNA Gyrase is Found in Bacteria and Some Archaea

DNA gyrase is a DNA topoisomerase enzyme that is found in bacteria and some archaea. It is not present in eukaryotic cells, which have a different DNA topoisomerase enzyme called topoisomerase II. The absence of DNA gyrase in human cells makes it a suitable target for antibiotics, as it minimizes the risk of harmful side effects in humans.

DNA Gyrase is a Type II Topoisomerase

DNA gyrase belongs to the type II topoisomerase family, which includes enzymes involved in DNA replication and recombination. Type II topoisomerases, such as DNA gyrase, are ATP-dependent enzymes that catalyze the breaking and rejoining of DNA strands to regulate DNA topology.

DNA Gyrase Requires Energy

To carry out its catalytic functions, DNA gyrase requires energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP powers the DNA supercoiling and relaxation activities of DNA gyrase, allowing it to effectively manipulate the DNA molecule.

DNA Gyrase Plays a Role in DNA Repair

In addition to its involvement in DNA replication, DNA gyrase also plays a role in DNA repair. It helps to unwind and separate the damaged DNA strands, making it easier for repair enzymes to access and fix the DNA lesions.

DNA Gyrase is Highly Conserved

The DNA gyrase enzyme is highly conserved across different bacterial species. This means that the enzyme’s structure and function remain relatively unchanged, highlighting its importance and critical role in bacterial physiology.

DNA Gyrase is a Multisubunit Enzyme

DNA gyrase is composed of multiple subunits, typically consisting of two subunits called GyrA and GyrB. These subunits work together to carry out the various functions of DNA gyrase, such as DNA supercoiling and relaxation.

DNA Gyrase Prevents DNA Tangling

One of the primary functions of DNA gyrase is to prevent DNA tangling. In the highly compacted and busy environment of the bacterial cell, DNA tangling can easily occur. DNA gyrase acts as a guardian, maintaining the integrity and organization of the bacterial genome.

DNA Gyrase is an Attractive Drug Target

Due to its essential role in DNA replication and its absence in human cells, DNA gyrase is an attractive target for developing new antibiotics. Understanding the structure and function of DNA gyrase has provided insights for the development of novel drugs that selectively inhibit bacterial DNA gyrase without harming human cells.

DNA Gyrase is Involved in DNA Segregation

DNA gyrase is not only responsible for supercoiling and relaxation of DNA but also plays a role in DNA segregation during cell division. It helps in the proper distribution of replicated DNA molecules to daughter cells, ensuring the accurate inheritance of genetic information.

DNA Gyrase is Sensitive to Temperature

The activity of DNA gyrase is temperature-dependent, with optimal activity occurring within a specific temperature range. Changes in temperature can affect the efficiency and functionality of DNA gyrase, potentially impacting DNA replication and cellular processes.

DNA Gyrase Topoisomerase Activity is Regulated

The activity of DNA gyrase is tightly regulated within the cell to ensure appropriate DNA supercoiling and relaxation. Various factors, such as DNA concentration, ATP availability, and other regulating proteins, modulate the activity of DNA gyrase, maintaining the proper balance in DNA topology.

DNA Gyrase is an Evolutionary Ancient Enzyme

DNA gyrase is believed to have evolved early in the history of life on Earth. Its presence in bacteria and archaea, which are ancient domains of life, suggests that DNA gyrase played a fundamental role in the development and maintenance of genetic material.

DNA Gyrase is Highly Efficient

DNA gyrase is an incredibly efficient enzyme, capable of supercoiling and relaxing DNA at a high rate. Its catalytic activities and ability to rapidly modulate DNA topology contribute to the efficient functioning of DNA replication and other cellular processes.

DNA Gyrase Deficiency Can Lead to Genetic Instability

Deficiencies or mutations in the DNA gyrase enzyme can lead to genetic instability and impaired cellular functions. DNA gyrase helps in maintaining the proper structure and stability of the DNA molecule. Any disruptions in its activity can result in DNA damage and genomic instability.


In conclusion, DNA gyrase is an essential enzyme that plays a crucial role in various biological processes. Its ability to introduce negative supercoiling in DNA is essential for DNA replication, transcription, and repair. Moreover, DNA gyrase is a validated target for several antibiotics, making it a subject of extensive research in the field of drug discovery.

By understanding the unbelievable facts about DNA gyrase, we gain a deeper appreciation for its significance in maintaining the integrity and functionality of our genetic material. From its hinged structure to its role in regulating DNA supercoiling, DNA gyrase is undoubtedly remarkable. Its intricate mechanism and exceptional properties continue to captivate scientists and drive the advancement of molecular biology. By unraveling the mysteries of DNA gyrase, we pave the way for exciting discoveries and potential therapeutic interventions in the future.


1. What is DNA gyrase?

DNA gyrase is a type of enzyme called a topoisomerase that plays a critical role in DNA replication, transcription, and repair. It is responsible for introducing negative supercoils in DNA, allowing the DNA molecule to unwind and separate during these processes.

2. How does DNA gyrase work?

DNA gyrase works by breaking and rejoining the strands of DNA, allowing it to introduce negative supercoils. This activity is facilitated by the energy derived from ATP hydrolysis.

3. What are the functions of DNA gyrase?

DNA gyrase performs multiple essential functions, including DNA replication, transcription regulation, and DNA repair. It helps to relieve the strain and torsional stress that occurs during these processes by introducing negative supercoiling.

4. What happens if DNA gyrase is inhibited?

If DNA gyrase is inhibited, DNA replication and transcription processes are disrupted, leading to cell death. This makes DNA gyrase an attractive target for certain antibiotics.

5. Are there any known inhibitors of DNA gyrase?

Yes, there are several known inhibitors of DNA gyrase, including fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin and nalidixic acid. These antibiotics bind to the enzyme, preventing it from carrying out its function and ultimately killing the bacterial cell.