Basic residues at the C-gate of DNA gyrase are involved in DNA supercoiling

Eric M. Smith, Alfonso Mondragón*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


DNA gyrase is a type II topoisomerase that is responsible for maintaining the topological state of bacterial and some archaeal genomes. It uses an ATP-dependent two-gate strand-passage mechanism that is shared among all type II topoisomerases. During this process, DNA gyrase creates a transient break in the DNA, the G-segment, to form a cleavage complex. This allows a second DNA duplex, known as the T-segment, to pass through the broken G-segment. After the broken strand is religated, the T-segment is able to exit out of the enzyme through a gate called the C-gate. Although many steps of the type II topoisomerase mechanism have been studied extensively, many questions remain about how the T-segment ultimately exits out of the C-gate. A recent cryo-EM structure of Streptococcus pneumoniae GyrA shows a putative T-segment in close proximity to the C-gate, suggesting that residues in this region may be important for coordinating DNA exit from the enzyme. Here, we show through site-directed mutagenesis and biochemical characterization that three conserved basic residues in the C-gate of DNA gyrase are important for DNA supercoiling activity, but not for ATPase or cleavage activity. Together with the structural information previously published, our data suggest a model in which these residues cluster to form a positively charged region that facilitates T-segment passage into the cavity formed between the DNA gate and C-gate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101000
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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