supercoiling

(redirected from DNA supercoil)
Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Wikipedia.

supercoiling

[′sü·pər‚kȯil·iŋ]
(cell and molecular biology)
Winding of the deoxyribonucleic acid duplex on itself so that it crosses its own axis; may be in the same (positive) direction as, or opposite (negative) direction to, the turns of the double helix.
References in periodicals archive ?
To understand more completely how DNA supercoils and the forces that make the strands writhe, Tamar Schlick, a mathematician and Howard Hughes Medical Institute researcher at New York University, and her colleagues have developed a computer model that links knot theory to biochemistry
For DNA gyrase, this topoisomerization reaction results in introduction (or removal) of DNA supercoils, thus affecting the negative supercoiling of DNA necessary to initiate DNA replication and remove positive supercoils that accumulate before an advancing replication fork.
They suggest that the degree to which these DNA supercoils tighten and loosen influences which genes are active in a cell.