The enzyme catalyses the ligation of DNA strands with 3'-hydroxyl and 5'-phosphate termini, forming a phosphodiester and sealing certain types of single-strand breaks in duplex DNA. Catalysis occurs by a three-step mechanism, starting with the activation of the enzyme by ATP, forming a phosphoramide bond between adenylate and a lysine residue. The adenylate group is then transferred to the 5'-phosphate terminus of the substrate, forming the capped structure 5'-(5'-diphosphoadenosine)-[DNA]. Finally, the enzyme catalyses a nucleophilic attack of the 3'-OH terminus on the capped terminus, which results in formation of the phosphodiester bond and release of the adenylate. RNA can also act as substrate, to some extent. cf. EC 18.104.22.168
, DNA ligase (NAD+), EC 22.214.171.124
, DNA ligase (ATP or NAD+), and EC 126.96.36.199
, DNA ligase (ATP, ADP or GTP).