Helicases are an important class of enzymes involved in DNA and RNA metabolism that couple the energy of ATP hydrolysis to unwind duplex DNA and RNA structures. Understanding the mechanism of helicase action is vital due to their involvement in various biological processes such as DNA replication, repair and recombination. Furthermore, the duplex DNA unwinding property of this class of enzymes is closely related to their single-stranded DNA translocation. Hence the study of its translocation properties is essential to understanding helicase activity. Here we review the methods that are employed to analyze the DNA translocation and unwinding activities of the bacteriophage T4 UvsW and Dda helicases. These methods have been successfully employed to study the functions of helicases from large superfamilies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)