DNA-Stimulated Liquid-Liquid phase separation by eukaryotic topoisomerase ii modulates catalytic function

Joshua Jeong, Joyce H. Lee, Claudia C. Carcamo, Matthew W. Parker, James M. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Type II topoisomerases modulate chromosome supercoiling, condensation, and catenation by moving one double-stranded DNA segment through a transient break in a second duplex. How DNA strands are chosen and selectively passed to yield appropriate topological outcomes – for example, decatenation vs. catenation – is poorly understood. Here, we show that at physio-logical enzyme concentrations, eukaryotic type IIA topoisomerases (topo IIs) readily coalesce into condensed bodies. DNA stimulates condensation and fluidizes these assemblies to impart liquid-like behavior. Condensation induces both budding yeast and human topo IIs to switch from DNA unlinking to active DNA catenation, and depends on an unstructured C-terminal region, the loss of which leads to high levels of knotting and reduced catenation. Our findings establish that local protein concentration and phase separation can regulate how topo II creates or dissolves DNA links, behaviors that can account for the varied roles of the enzyme in supporting transcription, replication, and chromosome compaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere81786
StatePublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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