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■ Abstract Topoisomerases are enzymes that use DNA strand scission, manipulation, and rejoining activities to directly modulate DNA topology. These actions provide a powerful means to effect changes in DNA supercoiling levels, and allow some topoisomerases to both unknot and decatenate chromosomes. Since their initial discovery over three decades ago, researchers have amassed a rich store of information on the cellular roles and regulation of topoisomerases, and have delineated general modelsdoi:10.1146/annurev.biophys.33.110502.140357 pmid:15139806 fatcat:ic3qr3mtfrf5hnrbg7qiocqwqm