Thermophilic topoisomerase I on a single DNA molecule

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, ACADEMIC PRESS LTD ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, Volume 329, Number 2, 24-28 OVAL RD, LONDON NW1 7DX, ENGLAND, p.271-282 (2003)

DOI:

10.1016/S0022-2836(03)00320-6

Keywords:

BACTERIUM THERMOTOGA-MARITIMA; MECHANISM; REVERSE GYRASE

Abstract:

Control of DNA topology is critical in thermophilic organisms in which heightened ambient temperatures threaten the stability of the double helix. An important role in this control is played by topoisomerase I, a member of the type IA family of topoisomerases. We investigated the binding and activity of this topoisomerase from the hyperthermophilic bacterium Thermotoga maritima on duplex DNA using single molecule techniques, presenting it with various substrates such as (+) plectonemes, (-) plectonemes, and denaturation bubbles. We found the topoisomerase inactive on both types of plectonemes, but active on denaturation bubbles produced at increased stretching forces in underwound DNA. The relaxation rate depended sensitively on the applied force and the protein concentration. These observations could be understood in terms of a preference of the topoisomerase for single-stranded DNA over double-stranded DNA and allowed for a better understanding of activity of the topoisomerase in bulk experiments on circular plasmids. Binding experiments on a single duplex molecule using a mutant unable to perform cleavage confirmed this interpretation and suggested that T. maritima topoisomerase I behaves like an SSB by lowering the denaturation threshold of underwound DNA. Finally, experiments with a unique single-stranded DNA showed that both ends of the cleaved DNA are tightly maintained by the enzyme, supporting an enzyme-bridged mechanism for this topoisomerase. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.