supercoil

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

supercoil

(so͞o′pər-koil′)
n.
A structure of a helix, especially a DNA molecule, in which the axis of the helix itself is coiled, causing the helix to loop over itself.
intr.v. super·coiled, super·coiling, super·coils
To form a supercoil.
References in periodicals archive ?
When in addition of [Fe.sup.2+] and [H.sub.2][O.sub.2], the DNA supercoiled form decreased and converted into the relaxed circular and linear form.
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.