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Untangler of Knots: The Amazing Topoisomerase Molecular Machine

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Topoisomerase II is an extremely important enzyme in your cells that is designed to untangle knots and supercoils in DNA strands that arise during replication and transcription. It does this by grabbing two tangled DNA segments, holding one steady while it breaks the other segment in two, and then passing the first segment through the break. The second segment is then reconnected, and the two DNA segments are released, having been successfully untangled. Without topoisomerases, chromosomes would become an impossible mess, making DNA replication, transcription, and cell duplication impossible.

The carefully orchestrated untangling activity of topoisomerase II doesn’t happen by accident. This enzyme is a molecular machine that only works because its amino acid sequence is highly specified to provide a special shape and structure necessary for its function. In other words, topoisomerase enzymes contain high levels of complex and specified information—a hallmark of intelligent design.