Type II topoisomerases bind to DNA at the catalytic domain across the DNA gate. DNA gyrases also bind to DNA at the non-homologous C-terminal domain of the GyrA subunit, which causes the wrapping of DNA about itself. This unique mode of DNA binding allows gyrases to introduce the negative supercoils into DNA molecules. We have investigated the biochemical characteristics of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) gyrase. S. aureus gyrase is known to require high concentrations of potassium glutamate (K-Glu) for its supercoiling activity. However, high concentrations of K-Glu are not required for its relaxation and decatenation activities. This is due to the requirement of high concentrations of K-Glu for S. aureus gyrase-mediated wrapping of DNA. These results suggest that S. aureus gyrase can bind to DNA at the catalytic domain independent of K-Glu concentration, but high concentrations of K-Glu are required for the binding of the C-terminal domain of GyrA to DNA and the wrapping of DNA. Thus, salt modulates the DNA binding mode and the catalytic activity of S. aureus gyrase. Quinolone drugs can stimulate the formation of covalent S. aureus gyrase-DNA complexes, but high concentrations of K-Glu inhibit the formation of S. aureus gyrase-quinolone-DNA ternary complexes. In the absence of K-Glu, ternary complexes formed with S. aureus gyrase cannot arrest replication fork progression in vitro, demonstrating that the formation of a wrapped ternary complex is required for replication fork arrest by a S. aureus gyrase-quinolone-DNA ternary complex.