N-terminal region of the large subunit of Leishmania donovani bisubunit topoisomerase I is involved in DNA relaxation and interaction with the smaller subunit

Benu Brata Das, Nilkantha Sen, Somdeb Bose Dasgupta, Agneyo Ganguly, Hemanta K. Majumder

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24 Scopus citations


Leishmania donovani topoisomerase I is an unusual bisubunit enzyme. We have demonstrated earlier that the large and small subunit could be reconstituted in vitro to show topoisomerase I activity. We extend our biochemical study to evaluate the role of the large subunit in topoisomerase activity. The large subunit (LdTOP1L) shows a substantial degree of homology with the core DNA binding domain of the topoisomerase IB family. Two N-terminal truncation constructs, LdTOP1Δ39L (lacking amino acids 1-39) and LdTOP1Δ99L (lacking amino acids 1-99) of the large subunit were generated and mixed with intact small subunit (LdTOP1S). Our observations reveal that residues within amino acids 1-39 of the large subunit have significant roles in modulating topoisomerase I activity (i.e. in vitro DNA relaxation, camptothecin sensitivity, cleavage activity, and DNA binding affinity). Interestingly, the mutant LdTOP1Δ99LS was unable to show topoisomerase I activity. Investigation of the loss of activity indicates that LdTOP1Δ99L was unable to pull down glutathione S-transferase-LdTOP1S in an Ni2+- nitrilotriacetic acid co-immobilization experiment. For further analysis, we co-expressed LdTOP1L and LdTOP1S in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3)pLysS cells. The lysate shows topoisomerase I activity. Immunoprecipitation revealed that LdTOP1L could interact with LdTOP1S, indicating the subunit interaction in bacterial cells, whereas immunoprecipitation of bacterial lysate co-expressing LdTOP1Δ99L and LdTOP1S reveals that LdTOP1Δ99L was significantly deficient at interacting with LdTOP1S to reconstitute topoisomerase I activity. This study demonstrates that heterodimerization between the large and small subunits of the bisubunit enzyme appears to be an absolute requirement for topoisomerase activity. The residue within amino acids 1-39 from the N-terminal end of the large subunit regulates DNA topology during relaxation by controlling noncovalent DNA binding or by coordinating DNA contacts by other parts of the enzyme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16335-16344
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 22 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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