Mechanisms of chiral discrimination by topoisomerase IV

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Volume 106, Number 17, p.6986-6991 (2009)

Abstract:

Topoisomerase IV (Topo IV), an essential ATP-dependent bacterial type II topoisomerase, transports one segment of DNA through a transient double-strand break in a second segment of DNA. In vivo, Topo IV unlinks catenated chromosomes before cell division and relaxes positive supercoils generated during DNA replication. In vitro, Topo IV relaxes positive supercoils at least 20-fold faster than negative supercoils. The mechanisms underlying this chiral discrimination by Topo IV and other type II topoisomerases remain speculative. We used magnetic tweezers to measure the relaxation rates of single and multiple DNA crossings by Topo IV. These measurements allowed us to determine unambiguously the relative importance of DNA crossing geometry and enzymatic processivity in chiral discrimination by Topo IV. Our results indicate that Topo IV binds and passes DNA strands juxtaposed in a nearly perpendicular orientation and that relaxation of negative supercoiled DNA is perfectly distributive. Together, these results suggest that chiral discrimination arises primarily from dramatic differences in the processivity of relaxing positive and negative supercoiled DNA: Topo IV is highly processive on positively supercoiled DNA, whereas it is perfectly distributive on negatively supercoiled DNA. These results provide fresh insight into topoisomerase mechanisms and lead to a model that reconciles contradictory aspects of previous findings while providing a framework to interpret future results.