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GroEL protein and groEL mRNA transcript were up-regulated in gyrB mutants of Borrelia burgdorferi, a causative agent of
Lyme disease. Furthermore, the protein and transcript levels in gyrB mutants were greater than those in experimentally heat-shocked cultures of wild-type B. burgdorferi. Circular DNA in the gyrB mutants was more relaxed than in wild-type cells, although groEL is on the linear chromosome of B. burgdorferi. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence, albeit indirect, for the effect of DNA topology on gene expression from a linear DNA molecule in a bacterium.