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DNA Topology: Supercoiling and Linking

  1. Janet E Lindsley

Published Online: 23 SEP 2005

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0003904



How to Cite

Lindsley, J. E. 2005. DNA Topology: Supercoiling and Linking. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 SEP 2005


The topology of DNA has a major impact on its structure and reactivity. Two different aspects of DNA topology are the linkage of two single strands comprising the DNA double helix, which can cause DNA supercoiling, and the linkage of double helixes in the form of knots and catenanes.


  • DNA structure;
  • supercoiling;
  • linking number