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J Biol Chem. 1998 Oct 9;273(41):26261-4.

The RNA-splicing factor PSF/p54 controls DNA-topoisomerase I activity by a direct interaction.

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  • 1Medizinische Poliklinik, University of Wuerzburg, D-97070 Wuerzburg, Germany.


DNA-topoisomerase I has been implied in RNA splicing because it catalyzes RNA strand transfer and activates serine/arginine-rich RNA-splicing factors by phosphorylation. Here, we demonstrate a direct interaction between topoisomerase I and pyrimidine tract binding protein-associated splicing factor (PSF), a cofactor of RNA splicing, which forms heterodimers with its smaller homolog, the nuclear RNA-binding protein of 54 kDa (p54). Topoisomerase I, PSF, and p54 copurified in a 1:1:1 ratio from human A431 cell nuclear extracts. Specific binding of topoisomerase I to PSF (but not p54) was demonstrated by coimmunoprecipitation and by far Western blotting, in which renatured blots were probed with biotinylated topoisomerase I. Chemical cross-linking of pure topoisomerase I revealed monomeric, dimeric, and trimeric enzyme forms, whereas in the presence of PSF/p54 the enzyme was cross-linked into complexes larger than homotrimers. When topoisomerase I was complexed with PSF/p54 it was 16-fold more active than the pure enzyme, which could be stimulated 5- and 16-fold by the addition of recombinant PSF or native PSF/p54, respectively. A physiological role of this stimulatory mechanism seems feasible, because topoisomerase I and PSF showed a patched colocalization in A431 cell nuclei, which varied with cell cycle.

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