Role of Human Topoisomerase I in DNA Repair and Apoptosis
Human topoisomerase I (htopoI) is an enzyme that up to now was believed to function mainly in the removal of torsional stress generated during transcription and replication. In 1998, it was found that htopoI might play another important role in the cellular response to DNA damage -- the so-called htopoI damage response. Since this initial discovery, many studies have suggested that the htopoI damage response is involved in DNA repair as well as in apoptosis. Here we discuss the earliest as well as the latest results in this field. Combining all of the published and as yet unpublished results, we suggest and discuss a model of how htopoI may function during DNA repair and apoptosis. Furthermore, numerous results show that the htopoI damage response is not a spontaneous event, but is strictly regulated by cellular signalling pathways. We discuss which pathways may be involved and how the htopoI damage response is activated. Although the htopoI damage response was discovered several years ago, research in this area is just beginning. The future will surely bring more clarity regarding the precise mechanism behind the involvement of htopoI in DNA repair and apoptosis, as well as its implications for a broader understanding of how the human organism ensures genomic stability.
Genome Integrity: Facets and Perspectives
Genome Structure and Regulation