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J Mol Biol. 1991 Dec 5;222(3):669-78.

New technique for uncoupling the cleavage and religation reactions of eukaryotic topoisomerase I. The mode of action of camptothecin at a specific recognition site.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Plant Physiology, University of Aarhus, Denmark.


A new technique for uncoupling the cleavage and religation half-reactions of topoisomerase I at a specific site has been developed. The technique takes advantage of a suicidal DNA substrate to attain enzyme-mediated cleavage without concomitant religation. Efficient religation can be achieved, subsequently, by addition of an oligonucleotide capable of hybridising to the non-cleaved strand of the suicide DNA substrate. The technique was used to study the effect of different compounds on the half-reactions of topoisomerase I. It was shown that topoisomerase I-mediated cleavage was inhibited by NaCl concentrations higher than 200 mM, while the religation reaction seemed unaffected by concentrations as high as 3 M-NaCl. The divalent cations Mg2+, Ca2+ and Mn2+ were found to enhance the cleavage but not the religation reaction of topoisomerase I, whereas Cu2+ and Zn2+ inhibited both reactions. Furthermore, the effect of the anti-neoplastic agent, camptothecin, on the half-reactions of topoisomerase I was investigated. It was found that the drug did not affect the cleavage reaction of topoisomerase I at the studied site, while the religation reaction of the enzyme was inhibited. Camptothecin was found to stabilise the enzyme-DNA cleavage complex even when the drug was added after complex formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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