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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1985 Jan 29;824(1):45-57.

Studies on mitochondrial type I topoisomerase and on its function.


We have reported previously that rat liver mitochondria contain a topoisomerase and have shown it to be distinct from the nuclear enzyme by its sensitivity to Berenil and ethidium bromide. We report here some additional characterization. The enzyme differs further from its nuclear counterpart in its failure to bind to ssDNA cellulose and its chromatographic behavior on Sephadex; the latter procedure yields an Mr of 44 000 for the mitochondrial and 70 000 for the nuclear enzyme. The topoisomerase is strongly associated with mitochondrial membranes; only 10% of the activity could be extracted. The pH optimum of the enzyme falls between 6.0 and 8.5, with an NaCl optimum of 0.13 M in 0.1 M Tris (pH 8.3). Dithiothreitol is required, while N-ethylmaleimide is inhibitory. Tosylphenylalanine chloromethyl ketone, a serine proteinase inhibitor, abolishes activity; another, phenylmethanesulfonyl fluoride, has no effect. Berenil, a non-intercalating drug, and four of its analogues all inhibit with up to 100-fold differences in potency. No dependence on ATP, Mg2+, or both together could be shown. Neither novobiocin nor oxolinic acid shows any inhibitory effect. Nicked circles are generated in the presence of DMSO. These three observations are consistent with the topoisomerase being of the Type I class. Positively supercoiled pBR322 DNA, whose 6-8 positive turns were generated by altering solution conditions, is relaxed by the enzyme, indicating a lack of requirement for a negatively supercoiled substrate. We have also examined a partially purified preparation of the corresponding mitochondrial enzyme from mouse L cells. This enzyme is largely similar in properties to the rat liver enzyme. In isolated mitochondria, Berenil causes biphasic alterations in [3H]dATP incorporation into DNA, 10(-4) mM stimulating 2-fold, while higher concentrations inhibit. [3H]UTP incorporation into mitochondrial RNA also follows this pattern.

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