Structural similarities between topoisomerases that cleave one or both DNA strands

James M. Berger, Deborah Fass, James C. Wang, Stephen C. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Type IA and type II DNA topoisomerases are distinguished by their ability to cleave one or two strands, respectively, of a DNA duplex. Both types have been proposed to use an 'enzyme-bridging' mechanism, in which a break is formed in a DNA strand and a gap is opened between the broken pieces to allow passage of a second DNA strand or duplex segment. Although the type IA and type II topoisomerase structures appear overall quite different from one another, unexpected similarities between several structural elements suggest that members of the two subfamilies may use comparable mechanisms to bind and cleave DNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7876-7881
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 7 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Catabolite-activator protein-like domain
  • DNA binding
  • DNA cleavage
  • Rossmann fold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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