SUMOylation of the C-terminal domain of DNA topoisomerase IIα regulates the centromeric localization of Claspin

Cell Cycle. 2015;14(17):2777-84. doi: 10.1080/15384101.2015.1066537. Epub 2015 Jul 1.


DNA topoisomerase II (TopoII) regulates DNA topology by its strand passaging reaction, which is required for genome maintenance by resolving tangled genomic DNA. In addition, TopoII contributes to the structural integrity of mitotic chromosomes and to the activation of cell cycle checkpoints in mitosis. Post-translational modification of TopoII is one of the key mechanisms by which its broad functions are regulated during mitosis. SUMOylation of TopoII is conserved in eukaryotes and plays a critical role in chromosome segregation. Using Xenopus laevis egg extract, we demonstrated previously that TopoIIα is modified by SUMO on mitotic chromosomes and that its activity is modulated via SUMOylation of its lysine at 660. However, both biochemical and genetic analyses indicated that TopoII has multiple SUMOylation sites in addition to Lys660, and the functions of the other SUMOylation sites were not clearly determined. In this study, we identified the SUMOylation sites on the C-terminal domain (CTD) of TopoIIα. CTD SUMOylation did not affect TopoIIα activity, indicating that its function is distinct from that of Lys660 SUMOylation. We found that CTD SUMOylation promotes protein binding and that Claspin, a well-established cell cycle checkpoint mediator, is one of the SUMOylation-dependent binding proteins. Claspin harbors 2 SUMO-interacting motifs (SIMs), and its robust association to mitotic chromosomes requires both the SIMs and TopoIIα-CTD SUMOylation. Claspin localizes to the mitotic centromeres depending on mitotic SUMOylation, suggesting that TopoIIα-CTD SUMOylation regulates the centromeric localization of Claspin. Our findings provide a novel mechanistic insight regarding how TopoIIα-CTD SUMOylation contributes to mitotic centromere activity.

Keywords: Claspin; SUMO; centromere; mitosis; topoisomerase IIα.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / analysis
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / biosynthesis*
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / biosynthesis*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Centromere / chemistry
  • Centromere / genetics
  • Centromere / metabolism*
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / biosynthesis*
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Female
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sumoylation / physiology*
  • Xenopus Proteins / analysis
  • Xenopus Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Xenopus Proteins / genetics
  • Xenopus laevis


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • CLSPN protein, Xenopus
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II