Topoisomerases and the regulation of neural function

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2016 Nov;17(11):673-679. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2016.101. Epub 2016 Sep 15.


Topoisomerases are unique enzymes that regulate torsional stress in DNA to enable essential genome functions, including DNA replication and transcription. Although all cells in an organism require topoisomerases to maintain normal function, the nervous system in particular shows a vital need for these enzymes. Indeed, a range of inherited human neurologic syndromes, including neurodegeneration, schizophrenia and intellectual impairment, are associated with aberrant topoisomerase function. Much remains unknown regarding the tissue-specific function of neural topoisomerases or the connections between these enzymes and disease aetiology. Precisely how topoisomerases regulate genome dynamics within the nervous system is therefore a crucial research question.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Damage / physiology*
  • DNA Replication / physiology*
  • DNA Topoisomerases / genetics
  • DNA Topoisomerases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / genetics
  • Nervous System Diseases / metabolism*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology


  • DNA Topoisomerases