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J Biol Chem. 1995 Oct 6;270(40):23700-5.

Escherichia coli DNA topoisomerase III is a site-specific DNA binding protein that binds asymmetrically to its cleavage site.

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  • 1Molecular and Cell Biology Program, University of Maryland at Baltimore 21201, USA.


The binding of DNA topoisomerase III (Topo III) to a single-stranded DNA substrate containing a strong cleavage site has been examined. The minimal substrate requirement for Topo III-catalyzed cleavage has been determined to consist of 7 bases; 6 bases 5' to the cleavage site and only 1 base 3' to the site. Nuclease P1 protection experiments indicate that the enzyme also binds to its substrate asymmetrically, protecting approximately 12 bases 5' to the cleavage site and only 2 bases 3' to the cleavage site. A catalytically inactive mutant of Topo III shows the same protection pattern as the active polypeptide, indicating that Topo III is a site-specific binding protein as well as a topoisomerase. Consistent with this view, an oligonucleotide containing a cleavage site is a more effective inhibitor and is bound more efficiently by Topo III than an oligonucleotide without a cleavage site.

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