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J Comp Neurol. 2001 Mar 5;431(2):228-39.

Immunohistochemical analyses of DNA topoisomerase II isoforms in developing rat cerebellum.

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Third Department of Anatomy, Okayama University Medical School, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Okayama 700-8558, Japan.


In mammalian cells, two isoforms of DNA topoisomerase II (topo IIalpha and topo IIbeta) have been identified. Topo IIalpha is essential in mitotic cells, whereas the function of topo IIbeta remains unclear. In the present study, we investigated the developmental control of topo II isoforms in two different neuronal lineages, cerebellar Purkinje cells and granule cells, by immunohistochemical analysis with isoform-specific monoclonal antibodies. As expected, proliferating cells in the neuroepithelium and in the external germinal layer (EGL) were topo IIalpha immunopositive. The migrating as well as differentiating Purkinje cells and granule cells showed an enhanced topo IIbeta immunoreactivity. The postmitotic granule cells in the postnatal EGL showed an abrupt transition of expressed topo II isoforms from IIalpha to IIbeta. The transition was clearly coincident with the completion of final cell division and the initiation of terminal differentiation because no increase of the topo IIbeta immunoreactivity was observed in the spreading EGL cells that are still in the cell division cycle. The topo IIbeta signal was detected in both nucleoplasm and nucleolus of differentiating cells. However, the nucleoplasmic signal decreased significantly as the cells reached terminal differentiation. The residual topo IIbeta in nucleoli was shown to occupy an unique location with respect to other nucleolar proteins, nucleolin and DNA topoisomerase I. Our findings indicate that both Purkinje cells and granule cells express the topo II isoforms in a similar timing during the cerebellar development and also suggest that topo IIbeta localized in nucleoplasm is the functional entity involved in neuronal differentiation.

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