Human topoisomerase IB (hTopo) forms a covalent phosphotyrosyl linkage with the DNA backbone, and controls genomic DNA topology by relaxing DNA supercoils during the processes of DNA replication, transcription, chromosome condensation and decondensation. The essential role of hTopo in these processes has made it a preeminent anticancer drug target. We have screened a small library of arylstibonic acids for their effects on plasmid supercoil relaxation catalyzed by hTopo. Despite the similar structures of the library compounds, some compounds were found to be effective competitive inhibitors, and others, nonessential activators. Some arylstibonic acids show selectivity in their action against hTopo and the related enzyme from poxvirus (vTopo). Structure-activity relationships and structural modeling suggest that competitive inhibition may result from positioning of the negatively charged stibonic acid and carboxylate groups of the inhibitors into DNA phosphate binding pockets on hTopo. The hTopo activators act by a surprising allosteric mechanism without interfering with DNA binding or binding of the widely used hTopo poison camptothecin. Arylstibonic acid competitive inhibitors may become useful small molecules for elucidating the cellular functions of hTopo.
Topoisomerase II (Topo II) that decatenates newly synthesized DNA is targeted by many anticancer drugs. Some of these drugs stabilize intermediate complexes of DNA with Topo II and others act as catalytic inhibitors of Topo II. Simultaneous depletion of Topo IIα and Topo IIβ, the two isoforms of mammalian Topo II, prevents cell growth and normal mitosis, but the role of Topo II in other phases of mammalian cell cycle has not yet been elucidated. We have developed a derivative of p53-suppressed human cells with constitutive depletion of Topo IIβ and doxycycline-regulated conditional depletion of Topo IIα. The effects of Topo II depletion on cell cycle progression were analyzed by time-lapse video microscopy, pulse-chase flow cytometry and mitotic morphology. Topo II depletion increased the duration of the cell cycle and mitosis, interfered with chromosome condensation and sister chromatid segregation and led to frequent failure of cell division, ending in either cell death or restitution of polyploid cells. Topo II depletion did not change the rate of DNA replication but increased the duration of G2. These results define the effects of decreased Topo II activity, rather than intermediate complex stabilization, on the mammalian cell cycle.
topoisomerase II; mitosis; G2; conditional knockdown; S phase; mitotic catastrophe
Type IIA topoisomerases control DNA supercoiling and separate newly replicated chromosomes using a complex DNA strand cleavage and passage mechanism. Structural and biochemical studies have shown that these enzymes sharply bend DNA by as much as 150°; an invariant isoleucine, which has been seen structurally to intercalate between two base pairs outside of the DNA cleavage site, has been suggested to promote deformation. To test this assumption, we examined the role of isoleucine on DNA binding, bending and catalytic activity for a bacterial type IIA topoisomerase, Escherichia coli topoisomerase IV (topo IV), using a combination of site-directed mutagenesis and biochemical assays. Our data show that alteration of the isoleucine (Ile172) did not affect the basal ATPase activity of topo IV or its affinity for DNA. However, the amino acid was important for DNA bending, DNA cleavage and supercoil relaxation. Moreover, an ability to bend DNA correlated with efficacy with which nucleic acid substrates stimulate ATP hydrolysis. These data show that DNA binding and bending by topo IV can be uncoupled, and indicate that the stabilization of a highly curved DNA geometry is critical to the type IIA topoisomerase catalytic cycle.
We have previously reported that many ingenol compounds derived from Euphorbia kansui exhibit topoisomerase (topo) II inhibitory activity. Of these compounds, 3EZ,20Ac-ingenol inhibited topo I activity. Camptothecin, which inhibits the religation activity of topo I without interfering with the binding of topo I to DNA and induces topo I-mediated DNA cleavage, was used as a positive control. In this study, we found that 3EZ,20Ac-ingenol did not hamper the binding of topo I to DNA in the same manner as camptothecin but affected the inhibition of cleavage of one DNA strand. 3EZ,20Ac-ingenol inhibited cell proliferation by blocking cell cycle progression in the G2/M phase. To define the mechanism of inhibition of DT40 cell proliferation, the change in Akt activity was observed because Akt activity is regulated in response to DNA damage. Western blot analysis revealed that 3EZ,20Ac-ingenol downregulated the expression of p-Akt, and apoptosis was detected by the presence of DNA double-strand breaks and caspase 3 activation.
Both topoisomerase I and II inhibitor; Catalytic inhibitor; Apoptosis; Double-strand breaks; Caspase 3; p-Akt
Topoisomerases I and II (topo I and topo II) are nuclear enzymes functioning to resolve DNA topological problems during replication, transcription, and other DNA processes. We tested the effects of camptothecin and VP16, specific inhibitors of topo I and II, respectively, on the DNA replication of parvoviruses LuIII and H-1 and found that viral DNA synthesis was suppressed by camptothecin but not by VP16. Transcription of H-1 virus was measured by a nuclear runoff assay and showed no inhibition by camptothecin. Interestingly, topo I in the LuIII virus-infected cell nuclear extract appears to have more activity for covalently binding to viral DNA than that in mock-infected cell nuclear extracts. Our data suggested that this activity was not due to an increased transcription of the topo I gene or to greater amounts of topo I.
DNA topoisomerases (topos) are essential enzymes that participate in many cellular processes involving DNA. The presence of the DNA-gyrase genes in various mycoplasmas has been reported elsewhere. However, the characterization of DNA topo activity in mycoplasmas has not been previously undertaken. In this study, we characterized the topo activity in extracts of Mycoplasma fermentans K7 and incognitus and in Mycoplasma pirum, as well as in partially purified extract of M. fermentans K7. The topo activity in these microorganisms had the following properties. (i) The relaxation of supercoiled DNA was ATP dependent. (ii) ATP independent relaxation activity was not detected. (iii) Supercoiling of relaxed topoisomers was not observed. (iv) The relaxation activity was inhibited by DNA gyrase and topo IV antagonists (novobiocin and oxolinic acid) and by eukaryotic topo II (m-AMSA [4'-(9-acridylamino)methanesulfon-m-anisidide]) and topo I antagonists (camptothecin). Other eukaryotic topo II antagonists (teniposide and etoposide) did not affect the topo relaxation activity. (v) Two polypeptides of 66 and 180 kDa were found to be associated with the mycoplasma topo activity. These results suggest that the properties of the topo enzyme in these mycoplasma species resemble those of the bacterial topo IV and the eukaryotic and the bacteriophage T4 topo II. The findings that mycoplasma topo is inhibited by both eukaryotic topo II and topo I antagonists and that m-AMSA and camptothecin inhibited the growth of M. fermentans K7 in culture support our conclusion that these mycoplasma species have topo with unique properties.
Topoisomerase I is the target for a potent class of chemotherapeutic drugs derived from the plant alkaloid camptothecin that includes irinotecan and topotecan. In this study we have identified a novel site of CK2-mediated topoisomerase I (topo I) phosphorylation at serine 506 (PS506) that is relevant to topo I function and to cellular responses to these topo I-targeted drugs. CK2 treatment induced hyperphosphorylation of recombinant topo I and expression of the PS506 epitope, and resulted in increased binding of topo I to supercoiled plasmid DNA. Hyperphosphorylated topo I was approximately three times more effective than the basal phosphorylated enzyme at relaxing plasmid supercoils but had similar DNA cleavage activity once bound to DNA. The PS506 epitope was expressed in cancer cell lines with elevated CK2 activity, hyperphosphorylated topo I, and increased sensitivity to camptothecin. In contrast, PS506 was not detected in normal cells or cancer cell lines with lower levels of CK2 activity. By experimentally manipulating CK2 activity in cancer cell lines, we demonstrate a cause and effect relationship between CK2 activity, PS506 expression, camptothecin-induced cellular DNA damage, and cellular camptothecin sensitivity. Our results show that the PS506 epitope is an indicator of dysregulated, hyperphosphorylated topo I in cancer cells, and may thus serve as a diagnostic or prognostic biomarker and predict tumor responsiveness to widely used topo I-targeted therapies.
Type II DNA topoisomerases have been classified into two families, Topo IIA and Topo IIB, based on structural and mechanistic dissimilarities. Topo IIA is the target of many important antibiotics and antitumoural drugs, most of them being inactive on Topo IIB. The effects and mode of action of Topo IIA inhibitors in vitro and in vivo have been extensively studied for the last twenty-five years. In contrast, studies of Topo IIB inhibitors were lacking. To document this field, we have studied two Hsp90 inhibitors (radicicol and geldanamycin), known to interact with the ATP-binding site of Hsp90 (the Bergerat fold), which is also present in Topo IIB. Here, we report that radicicol inhibits the decatenation and relaxation activities of Sulfolobus shibatae DNA topoisomerase VI (a Topo IIB) while geldanamycin does not. In addition, radicicol has no effect on the Topo IIA Escherichia coli DNA gyrase. In agreement with their different effects on DNA topoisomerase VI, we found that radicicol can theoretically fit in the ATP-binding pocket of the DNA topoisomerase VI ‘Bergerat fold’, whereas geldanamycin cannot. Radicicol inhibited growths of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius (a crenarchaeon) and of Haloferax volcanii (a euryarchaeon) at the same doses that inhibited DNA topoisomerase VI in vitro. In contrast, the bacteria E.coli was resistant to this drug. Radicicol thus appears to be a very promising compound to study the mechanism of Topo IIB in vitro, as well as the biological roles of these enzymes in vivo.
We have studied the stimulation of topoisomerase IV (Topo IV) by the C-terminal AAA+ domain of FtsK. These two proteins combine to assure proper chromosome segregation in the cell. Stimulation of Topo IV activity was dependent on the chirality of the DNA substrate: FtsK stimulated decatenation of catenated DNA and relaxation of positively supercoiled [(+)ve sc] DNA, but inhibited relaxation of negatively supercoiled [(−)ve sc] DNA. The DNA translocation activity of FtsK was not required for stimulation, but was required for inhibition. DNA chirality did not affect any of the activities of FtsK, suggesting that FtsK possesses an inherent Topo IV stimulatory activity that is presumably mediated by protein–protein interactions, the stability of Topo IV on the DNA substrate dictated the effect observed. Inhibition occurs because FtsK can strip distributively acting topoisomerase off (−)ve scDNA, but not from either (+)ve scDNA or catenated DNA where the enzyme acts processively. Our analyses suggest that FtsK increases the efficiency of trapping of the transfer segment of DNA during the catalytic cycle of the topoisomerase.
Topoisomerases relieve topological tension in DNA by breaking and rejoining DNA phosphodiester bonds. Type IB topoisomerases such as vaccinia topoisomerase (vTopo) and human topoisomerase I are structurally and mechanistically similar to the tyrosine recombinase family of enzymes including bacteriophage lambda Integrase (Int). Previously, our laboratory identified peptide inhibitors of Int from a synthetic peptide combinatorial library. The most potent of these peptides also inhibit vTopo. Here we used the same mixture-based screening procedure to identify peptide inhibitors directly against vTopo using a plasmid relaxation assay. The two most potent new peptides identified, WYCRCK and KCCRCK, inhibit plasmid relaxation, DNA cleavage and Holliday junction (HJ) resolution mediated by vTopo. The peptides tested bind double stranded DNA at high concentration but do not appear to displace the enzyme from its DNA substrate. WYCRCK binds specifically to HJ and perturbs their central base pairing. This peptide also accumulates HJ intermediates when it inhibits Int-mediated recombination, whereas KCCRCK does not. Interestingly, WYCRCK shares four amino acids with a peptide identified against Int, WRWYCR. The octapeptide WRWYCRCK, containing amino acids from both hexapeptides, is more potent than either against vTopo. All peptides are less potent against the type IA E. coli topoisomerase I or against restriction endonucleases. Like the Int-inhibitory peptide WRWYCR, WYCRCK binds to Holliday junctions, and both inhibit junction resolution by vTopo. Our results suggest that the newly identified WYCRCK and peptide WRWYCR interact with a distorted DNA intermediate arising during vTopo-mediated catalysis, or interfere with specific interactions between vTopo and DNA.
DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV (topo IV) are the two essential type II topoisomerases of Escherichia coli. Gyrase is responsible for maintaining negative supercoiling of the bacterial chromosome, whereas topo IV's primary role is in disentangling daughter chromosomes following DNA replication. Coumarins, such as novobiocin, are wide-spectrum antimicrobial agents that primarily interfere with DNA gyrase. In this work we designed an alteration in the ParE subunit of topo IV at a site homologous to that which confers coumarin resistance in gyrase. This parE mutation renders the encoded topo IV approximately 40-fold resistant to inhibition by novobiocin in vitro and imparts a similar resistance to inhibition of topo IV-mediated relaxation of supercoiled DNA in vivo. We conclude that topo IV is a secondary target of novobiocin and that it is very likely to be inhibited by the same mechanism as DNA gyrase.
Bacterial DNA topoisomerase I (topoI) carries out relaxation of negatively supercoiled DNA through a series of orchestrated steps, DNA binding, cleavage, strand passage and religation. The N-terminal domain (NTD) of the type IA topoisomerases harbor DNA cleavage and religation activities, but the carboxyl terminal domain (CTD) is highly diverse. Most of these enzymes contain a varied number of Zn2+ finger motifs in the CTD. The Zn2+ finger motifs were found to be essential in Escherichia coli topoI but dispensable in the Thermotoga maritima enzyme. Although, the CTD of mycobacterial topoI lacks Zn2+ fingers, it is indispensable for the DNA relaxation activity of the enzyme. The divergent CTD harbors three stretches of basic amino acids needed for the strand passage step of the reaction as demonstrated by a new assay. We also show that the basic amino acids constitute an independent DNA-binding site apart from the NTD and assist the simultaneous binding of two molecules of DNA to the enzyme, as required during the catalytic step. Although the NTD binds to DNA in a site-specific fashion to carry out DNA cleavage and religation, the basic residues in CTD bind to non-scissile DNA in a sequence-independent manner to promote the crucial strand passage step during DNA relaxation. The loss of Zn2+ fingers from the mycobacterial topoI could be associated with Zn2+ export and homeostasis.
Purified preparations of simian virus 40 (SV40) large tumor antigen (LT) from three different sources, including LT expressed from a recombinant baculovirus, were found to relax negatively supercoiled cyclic DNA molecules, whether or not they contained SV40 sequences. Relaxation was stimulated by MgCl2 but not by ATP, and inhibited by camptothecin, suggesting the involvement of an enzymatic activity similar to that of topoisomerase I (topo I). However, the pH requirements for relaxation by respectively LT and topo I are different. Also, antibodies reacting with LT inhibited relaxation by preparations of LT but not topo I, whereas antibodies inhibiting relaxation by topo I had no effect on relaxation by LT. Reconstruction experiments suggested that both procedures used to purify LT, immunoaffinity chromatography and DEAE-Sepharose chromatography, separate topo I from LT. Finally, relaxing activity was found in over 40 preparations of LT, and in the few instances where activity could not be found, it probably had been lost during storage, rather than absent from the start. Whereas these results seem to exclude that the activity being detected is that of a contaminant of LT, they would be consistent with this activity being that of a stable topo-LT complex, or else intrinsic to LT itself.
The Bacillus cereus genome possesses three type IA topoisomerase genes. These genes, encoding DNA topoisomerase I and IIIα (bcTopo I, bcTopo IIIα), have been cloned into T7 RNA polymerase-regulated plasmid expression vectors and the enzymes have been overexpressed, purified and characterized. The proteins exhibit similar biochemical activity to their Escherichia coli counterparts, DNA topoisomerase I and III (ecTopo I, ecTopo III). bcTopo I is capable of efficiently relaxing negatively supercoiled DNA in the presence of Mg2+ but does not possess an efficient DNA decatenation activity. bcTopo IIIα is an active topoisomerase that is capable of relaxing supercoiled DNA at a broad range of Mg2+ concentrations; however, its DNA relaxation activity is not as efficient as that of bcTopo I. In addition, bcTopo III is a potent DNA decatenase that resolves oriC-based plasmid replication intermediates in vitro. Interestingly, bcTopo I and bcTopo IIIα are both able to compensate for the loss of ecTopo III in E.coli cells that lack ecTopo I. In contrast, ecTopo I cannot substitute for ecTopo III under these conditions.
The extent to which the DNA relaxation activities of eukaryotic topoisomerases (topo I and topo II) are redundant during gene transcription is unclear. Although both enzymes can often substitute for each other in vivo, studies in vitro had revealed that the DNA cross-inversion mechanism of topo II relaxes chromatin more efficiently than the DNA strand-rotation mechanism of topo I. Here, we show that the inactivation of topo II in budding yeast produces an abrupt decrease of virtually all polyA+ RNA transcripts of length above ∼3 kb, irrespective of their function. This reduction is not related to transcription initiation but to the stall of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) during elongation. This reduction does not occur in topo I mutants; and it is not avoided by overproducing yeast topo I or bacterial topo I, which relaxes (−) DNA supercoils. It is rescued by catalytically active topo II or a GyrBA enzyme, which relaxes (+) DNA supercoils. These findings demonstrate that DNA relaxation activities of topo I and topo II are not interchangeable in vivo. Apparently, only topo II relaxes efficiently the (+) DNA supercoils that stall the advancement of Pol II in long genes. A mechanistic model is proposed.
DNA topoisomerase (topo) II modulates DNA topology and is essential for cell division. There are two isoforms of topo II (α and β) that have limited functional redundancy, although their catalytic mechanisms appear the same. Using their COOH-terminal domains (CTDs) in yeast two-hybrid analysis, we have identified phospholipid scramblase 1 (PLSCR1) as a binding partner of both topo II α and β. Although predominantly a plasma membrane protein involved in phosphatidylserine externalization, PLSCR1 can also be imported into the nucleus where it may have a tumour suppressor function. The interactions of PLSCR1 and topo II were confirmed by pull-down assays with topo II α and β CTD fusion proteins and endogenous PLSCR1, and by co-immunoprecipitation of endogenous PLSCR1 and topo II α and β from HeLa cell nuclear extracts. PLSCR1 also increased the decatenation activity of human topo IIα. A conserved basic sequence in the CTD of topo IIα was identified as being essential for binding to PLSCR1 and binding of the two proteins could be inhibited by a synthetic peptide corresponding to topo IIα amino acids 1430-1441. These studies reveal for the first time a physical and functional interaction between topo II and PLSCR1.
We investigated the in vivo effect of ellipticine, a mammalian topoisomeraseII(topoII) inhibitor, on SV40 DNA topology. In contrast to epipodophyllotoxins, ellipticine did not cause significant double stranded cleavage of intracellular SV40 DNA. Furthermore, ellipticine reduced cleavage induced by epipodophyllotoxins, VP16 and VM26. Unexpectedly, ellipticine dramatically increased the superhelical density of a fraction of intracellular SV40 DNA. Several lines of evidence suggest that the formation of this highly supercoiled DNA species (Ih form DNA) is not due to the inhibition of topoII per se, but is the result of intercalation by ellipticine in a subfraction of the intracellular SV40 chromatin followed by the fixation of DNA linking number by a topoisomerase activity. Based on the linking number change and the known unwinding angle of ellipticine, the intercalation density was calculated as one ellipticine molecule per 10-20 bp in the Ih DNA. This result suggests the existence of different populations of intracellular SV40 chromatin with respect to the accessibility to ellipticine intercalation.
Type IIα DNA topoisomerase (TopoIIα) is among the most important clinical drug targets for the treatment of cancer. Recently, the DNA repair protein Metnase was shown to enhance TopoIIα activity and increase resistance to TopoIIα poisons. Using in vitro DNA decatenation assays we show that neoamphimedine potently inhibits TopoIIα-dependent DNA decatenation in the presence of Metnase. Cell proliferation assays demonstrate that neoamphimedine can inhibit Metnase-enhanced cell growth with an IC50 of 0.5 μM. Additionally, we find that the apparent Km of TopoIIα for ATP increases linearly with higher concentrations of neoamphimedine, indicating ATP-competitive inhibition, which is substantiated by molecular modeling. These findings support the continued development of neoamphimedine as an anticancer agent, particularly in solid tumors that over-express Metnase.
neoamphimedine; topoisomerase II; Metnase; cancer therapeutics
We have studied the relationship between expression of genes implicated in mediating resistance to cleavable complex-forming topoisomerase II (topo II) inhibitors and cellular sensitivity to ICRF-159, a 'catalytic' inhibitor of topo II. Overexpression of the membrane transporters, P-glycoprotein and multidrug resistance-related protein (MRP), or down-regulation of topo IIalpha and/or -beta, did not confer ICRF-159 resistance. Indeed, marked topo IIalpha down-regulation appeared to be associated with collateral sensitivity to ICRF-159. Our results indicate that the resistance mechanisms that pertain to cleavable complex-forming topo II inhibitors and ICRF-159 are distinct. The evidence presented here suggests that topo IIalpha, not topo IIbeta, is more likely to be the major in vivo target for ICRF-159.
DNA topoisomerase IIα (topo IIα) is an essential nuclear enzyme and its unique decatenation activity has been implicated in many aspects of chromosome dynamics such as chromosome replication and segregation during mitosis. Here we show that chromatin-associated protein HMGB1 (a member of the large family of HMG-box proteins with possible functions in DNA replication, transcription, recombination and DNA repair) promotes topo IIα-mediated catenation of circular DNA, relaxation of negatively supercoiled DNA and decatenation of kinetoplast DNA. HMGB1 interacts with topo IIα and this interaction, like the stimulation of the catalytic activity of the enzyme, requires both HMG-box domains of HMGB1. A mutant of HMGB1, which cannot change DNA topology stimulates DNA decatenation by topo IIα indistinguishably from the wild-type protein. Although HMGB1 stimulates ATP hydrolysis by topo IIα, the DNA cleavage is much more enhanced. The observed abilities of HMGB1 to interact with topo IIα and promote topo IIα binding to DNA suggest a mechanism by which HMGB1 stimulates the catalytic activity of the enzyme via enhancement of DNA cleavage.
Anthocyanins and their aglycone anthocyanidins are pigmented flavonoids found in significant amounts in many commonly consumed foods. They exhibit a complex chemistry in aqueous solution, which makes it difficult to study their chemistry under physiological conditions. Here we used a gel electrophoresis assay employing supercoiled DNA plasmid to examine the ability of these compounds (1) to intercalate DNA, (2) to inhibit human topoisomerase I through both inhibition of plasmid relaxation activity (catalytic inhibition) and stabilization of the cleavable DNA-topoisomerase complex (poisoning), and (3) to inhibit or enhance oxidative single-strand DNA nicking. We found no evidence of DNA intercalation by anthocyan(id)ins in the physiological pH range for any of the compounds used in this study—cyanidin chloride, cyanidin 3-O-glucoside, cyanidin 3,5-O-diglucoside, malvidin 3-O-glucoside and luteolinidin chloride. The anthocyanins inhibited topoisomerase relaxation activity only at high concentrations (> 50 μM) and we could find no evidence of topoisomerase I cleavable complex stabilization by these compounds. However, we observed that all of the anthocyan(id)ins used in this study were capable of inducing significant oxidative DNA strand cleavage (nicking) in the presence of 1 mM DTT (dithiothreitol), while the free radical scavenger, DMSO, at concentrations typically used in similar studies, completely inhibited DNA nicking. Finally, we propose a mechanism to explain the anthocyan(id)in induced oxidative DNA cleavage observed under our experimental conditions.
Anthocyanin; topoisomerase I; oxidation; DNA; intercalation; strand-cleavage; DNA nicking
ICRF-193, a novel noncleavable, complex-stabilizing type topoisomerase (topo) II inhibitor, has been shown to target topo II in mammalian cells (Ishida, R., T. Miki, T. Narita, R. Yui, S. Sato, K. R. Utsumi, K. Tanabe, and T. Andoh. 1991. Cancer Res. 51:4909-4916). With the aim of elucidating the roles of topo II in mammalian cells, we examined the effects of ICRF-193 on the transition through the S phase, when the genome is replicated, and through the M phase, when the replicated genome is condensed and segregated. Replication of the genome did not appear to be affected by the drug because the scheduled synthesis of DNA and activation of cdc2 kinase followed by increase in mitotic index occurred normally, while VP-16, a cleavable, complex-stabilizing type topo II inhibitor, inhibited all these processes. In the M phase, however, late stages of chromosome condensation and segregation were clearly blocked by ICRF-193. Inhibition at the stage of compaction of 300-nm diameter chromatin fibers to 600-nm diameter chromatids was demonstrated using the drug during premature chromosome condensation (PCC) induced in tsBN2 baby hamster kidney cells in early S and G2 phases. In spite of interference with M phase chromosome dynamics, other mitotic events such as activation of cdc2 kinase, spindle apparatus reorganization and disassembly and reassembly of nuclear envelopes occurred, and the cells traversed an unusual M phase termed "absence of chromosome segregation" (ACS)-M phase. Cells then continued through further cell cycle rounds, becoming polyploid and losing viability. This effect of ICRF-193 on the cell cycle was shown to parallel that of inactivation of topo II on the cell cycle of the ts top2 mutant yeast. The results strongly suggest that the essential roles of topo II are confined to the M phase, when the enzyme decatenates intertwined replicated chromosomes. In other phases of the cycle, including the S phase, topo II may thus play a complementary role with topo I in controlling the torsional strain accumulated in various genetic processes.
Type II topoisomerases are essential enzymes that regulate DNA topology through a strand-passage mechanism. Some type II topoisomerases relax supercoils, unknot and decatenate DNA to below thermodynamic equilibrium. Several models of this non-equilibrium topology simplification phenomenon have been proposed. The kinetic proofreading (KPR) model postulates that strand passage requires a DNA-bound topoisomerase to collide twice in rapid succession with a second DNA segment, implying a quadratic relationship between DNA collision frequency and relaxation rate. To test this model, we used a single-molecule assay to measure the unlinking rate as a function of DNA collision frequency for Escherichia coli topoisomerase IV (topo IV) that displays efficient non-equilibrium topology simplification activity, and for E. coli topoisomerase III (topo III), a type IA topoisomerase that unlinks and unknots DNA to equilibrium levels. Contrary to the predictions of the KPR model, topo IV and topo III unlinking rates were linearly related to the DNA collision frequency. Furthermore, topo III exhibited decatenation activity comparable with that of topo IV, supporting proposed roles for topo III in DNA segregation. This study enables us to rule out the KPR model for non-equilibrium topology simplification. More generally, we establish an experimental approach to systematically control DNA collision frequency.
Human topoisomerase I (topo I) is an essential cellular enzyme that relaxes DNA supercoiling. The 6.3 kDa C-terminal domain of topo I contains the active site tyrosine (Tyr723) but lacks enzymatic activity by itself. Activity can be fully reconstituted when the C-terminal is associated with the 56 kDa core domain. Even though several crystal structures of topo I/DNA complexes are available, crystal structures of the free topo I protein or its individual domain fragments have been difficult to obtain. In this report we analyze the human topo I C-terminal domain structure using a variety of biophysical methods. Our results indicate that this fragment protein (topo6.3) appears to be in a molten globule state. It appears to have a native-like tertiary fold that contains a large population of α-helix secondary structure and extensive surface hydrophobic regions. Topo6.3 is known to be readily activated with the association of the topo I core domain, and the molten globule state of topo6.3 is likely to be an energy-favorable conformation for the free topo I C-terminal domain protein. The structural fluctuation and plasticity may represent an efficient mechanism in the topo I functional pathway, where the flexibility aids in the complementary association with the core domain and in the formation of a fully productive topo I complex.
Human topoisomerase I C-terminal domain; molten globule; NMR; CD; fluorescence
Escherichia coli topoisomerases I and III (Topo I and Topo III) relax negatively supercoiled DNA and also catenate/decatenate DNA molecules containing single-stranded DNA regions. Although these enzymes share the same mechanism of action and have similar structures, they participate in different cellular processes. In bulk experiments Topo I is more efficient at DNA relaxation, whereas Topo III is more efficient at catenation/decatenation, probably reflecting their differing cellular roles. To examine the differences in the mechanism of these two related type IA topoisomerases, single-molecule relaxation studies were conducted on several DNA substrates: negatively supercoiled DNA, positively supercoiled DNA with a mismatch and positively supercoiled DNA with a bulge. The experiments show differences in the way the two proteins work at the single-molecule level, while also recovering observations from the bulk experiments. Overall, Topo III relaxes DNA efficiently in fast processive runs, but with long pauses before relaxation runs, whereas Topo I relaxes DNA in slow processive runs but with short pauses before runs. The combination of these properties results in Topo I having an overall faster total relaxation rate, even though the relaxation rate during a run for Topo III is much faster.