DNA topoisomerase II is required for condensation and separation of mitotic chromosomes in S. pombe

Cell. 1987 Sep 11;50(6):917-25. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(87)90518-6.


We show that DNA topoisomerase II (topo II) is continuously required for mitotic chromosome changes in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We constructed cold-sensitive (cs) or temperature-sensitive (ts) strains mutated in the genes coding for topo II (top2) and beta-tubulin (nda3). The ATP-dependent activity of the top2cs gene product is cs in vitro. The cloned top2cs gene sequence predicts an amino acid substitution. A cs top2-cs nda3 double mutant at 20 degrees C shows long, entangled chromosomes, which condense and separate upon the shift to permissive temperatures. If spindle formation is prevented at permissive temperatures, the chromosomes condense but do not separate. Thus topo II is required for final chromosome condensation; moreover, pulse-shift experiments show that topo II is required for chromatid disjuction. Experiments with ts top2-cs nda3 cells show that topo II is also required for chromosome separation in anaphase: inactivation of topo II and activation of beta-tubulin allow normal spindle formation but result in "streaked" chromosomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Benzimidazoles / pharmacology
  • Chromosomes / physiology
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / genetics
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / physiology*
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / physiology*
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Mitosis*
  • Nocodazole
  • Saccharomyces / enzymology*
  • Saccharomyces / genetics
  • Saccharomyces / physiology
  • Spindle Apparatus / drug effects
  • Spindle Apparatus / physiology
  • Temperature


  • Benzimidazoles
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II
  • Glucose
  • Nocodazole