AAT Bioquest

Does RNA polymerase unzip DNA?

Posted October 21, 2021


Yes, RNA polymerase unzips DNA during transcription. Although RNA polymerase is not classified as DNA helicase biochemically, it includes helicase activity and can unzip or unwind DNA but only locally and usually only for small lengths. DNA helicase unzips DNA for longer lengths and for the purposes of cell division as well.

Additional resources

DNA synthesis by a polymerase provides the driving force to accelerate DNA unwinding by a helicase

DNA and RNA Quantitation

Helixyte™ Green Fluorimetric Total Nucleic Acid Quantitation Kit *Optimized for Microplate Readers*