Quaternary changes in topoisomerase II may direct orthogonal movement of two DNA strands

Deborah Pass, Cynthia E. Bogden, James M. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Type II DNA topoisomerases mediate the passage of one DNA duplex through a transient break in another, an event essential for chromosome segregation and cell viability. The active sites of the type II topoisomerase dimer associate covalently with the DNA break-points and must separate by at least the width of the second DNA duplex to accommodate transport. A new structure of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae topoisomerase II DNA-binding and cleavage core suggests that in addition to conformational changes in the DNA-opening platform, a dramatic reorganization of accessory domains may occur during catalysis. These conformational differences have implications for both the DNA-breking and duplex-transport events in the topo II reaction mechanism, suggest a mechanism by which two distinct drug-resistance loci interact, and illustrate the scope of structural changes in the cycling of molecular machines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-326
Number of pages5
JournalNature Structural Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics


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