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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Molecular cloning and expression of the Candida albicans TOP2 gene allows study of fungal DNA topoisomerase II inhibitors in yeast.

Candida albicans topoisomerase II, encoded by the TOP2 gene, mediates chromosome segregation by a double-strand DNA break mechanism and is a potential target for anti-fungal therapy. In this paper, we report the characterization of the C. albicans TOP2 gene and its use to develop a yeast system that allows the identification and study of anti-fungal topoisomerase II inhibitors in vivo. The gene, specifying a 1461-residue polypeptide with only 40% identity with human topoisomerase IIalpha and beta isoforms, was isolated from C. albicans on a 6.3 kb EcoRI fragment that mapped to chromosome 4. It was used to construct a plasmid in which TOP2 expresses a recombinant enzyme (residues 57-1461 of C. albicans topoisomerase II fused to the first five residues of Saccharomyces cerevisiae topoisomerase II) under the control of a galactose-inducible promoter. The plasmid rescued the lethal phenotype of a temperature-sensitive S. cerevisiae DNA topoisomerase II mutant allowing growth at 35 degrees C. Yeast cells, bearing ISE2 permeability and rad52 double-strand-break-repair mutations the growth of which at 35 degrees C was dependent on C. albicans topoisomerase II, were killed by the known topoisomerase II inhibitors amsacrine and doxorubicin. Parallel experiments in yeast expressing human topoisomerase IIalpha allowed the relative sensitivities of the fungal and host topoisomerases to be examined in the same genetic background. To compare the killing in vivo with drug inhibition in vitro, the recombinant C. albicans topoisomerase II protein was expressed and purified to near-homogeneity from S. cerevisiae yielding a 160 kDa polypeptide that displayed the expected ATP-dependent DNA-relaxation and DNA-decatenation activities. The enzyme, whether examined in vitro or complementing in S. cerevisiae, was comparably sensitive to amsacrine and doxorubicin. Our results suggest that potential topoisomerase II-targeting anti-fungal inhibitors can be identified and studied in S. cerevisiae.[1]


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