DNA topoisomerases – vital multi-tasking enzymes

Important advances in the understanding of DNA topoisomerases are discussed in a new review led by John Innes Centre researchers.

DNA topoisomerases are vital enzymes with important roles in numerous processes such as transcription, replication, chromosome segregation and DNA repair.

In the article, which appears in BioEssays, researchers review recent findings from structural as well as single‐molecule studies that help to advance the understanding of these versatile enzymes in living organisms and as drug targets.

The team investigated some recently identified topoisomerases and discussed the importance of topoisomerase interaction with accessory proteins.

“New findings in this area of research are advancing our understanding of DNA-related processes and the vital functions that topoisomerases fulfil, demonstrating their indispensability in virtually every aspect of DNA metabolism,” said corresponding author Professor Tony Maxwell.

“Application of novel structural technologies, such as cryo-EM, has given us new insight into how these enzymes work and will contribute towards the development of new treatments for bacterial disease and cancer,” he added.

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