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Mol Genet Genomics. 2002 May;267(3):380-90. Epub 2002 May 9.

Cloning and characterization of a cell cycle-regulated gene encoding topoisomerase I from Nicotiana tabacum that is inducible by light, low temperature and abscisic acid.

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  • 1International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110 067, India.


We have cloned a full-length 2874-bp cDNA coding for tobacco topoisomerase I, with an ORF of 2559 bp encoding a protein of 852 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 95 kDa and an estimated pI of 9.51. The deduced amino acid sequence shows homology to other eukaryotic topoisomerases I. Tobacco topoisomerase I was over-expressed in Escherichia coli, and the purified recombinant protein was found to relax both positively and negatively super-coiled DNA in the absence of the divalent cation Mg(2+)and ATP. These characteristic features indicate that the tobacco enzyme is a type I topoisomerase. The recombinant protein could be phosphorylated at (a) threonine residue(s) by protein kinase C. However, phosphorylation did not cause any change in its enzymatic activity. The genomic organization of the topoisomerase I gene revealed the presence of 8 exons and 7 introns in the region corresponding to the ORF and one intron in the 3' UTR region. Transcript analysis using RT-PCR showed basal constitutive expression in all organs examined, and the gene was expressed at all stages of the cell cycle--but the level of expression increased during the G1-S phase. The transcript level also increased following exposure to light, low-temperature stress and abscisic acid, a stress hormone.

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