A mechanistic study of helicases with magnetic traps.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society, Volume 26, Issue 7, p.1314-1336 (2017)




DNA; DNA Helicases; DNA Replication; Nucleic Acid Heteroduplexes; RNA Helicases; RNA, Double-Stranded


Helicases are a broad family of enzymes that separate nucleic acid double strand structures (DNA/DNA, DNA/RNA, or RNA/RNA) and thus are essential to DNA replication and the maintenance of nucleic acid integrity. We review the picture that has emerged from single molecule studies of the mechanisms of DNA and RNA helicases and their interactions with other proteins. Many features have been uncovered by these studies that were obscured by bulk studies, such as DNA strands switching, mechanical (rather than biochemical) coupling between helicases and polymerases, helicase-induced re-hybridization and stalled fork rescue.