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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 320490, 8 pages
Research Article

The Effect of Dimethyl Sulfoxide on Supercoiled DNA Relaxation Catalyzed by Type I Topoisomerases

1Key Laboratory of Forest Genetics and Biotechnology, Nanjing Forestry University, 159 Longpan Road, Nanjing 210037, China
2Division of Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, Nanyang Technological University, 21 Nanyang Link, Singapore 637371
3Collaborative Innovation Center of Sustainable Forestry in Southern China of Jiangsu Province, 159 Longpan Road, Nanjing 210037, China

Received 25 August 2015; Revised 26 October 2015; Accepted 1 November 2015

Academic Editor: Sudhir Sopory

Copyright © 2015 Bei Lv et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The effects of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) on supercoiled plasmid DNA relaxation catalyzed by two typical type I topoisomerases were investigated in our studies. It is shown that DMSO in a low concentration (less than 20%, v/v) can induce a dose-related enhancement of the relaxation efficiency of Escherichia coli topoisomerase I (type IA). Conversely, obvious inhibitory effect on the activity of calf thymus topoisomerase I (type IB) was observed when the same concentration of DMSO is used. In addition, our studies demonstrate that 20% DMSO has an ability to reduce the inhibitory effect on EcTopo I, which was induced by double-stranded oligodeoxyribonucleotides while the same effect cannot be found in the case of CtTopo I. Moreover, our AFM examinations suggested that DMSO can change the conformation of negatively supercoiled plasmid by creating some locally loose regions in DNA molecules. Combining all the lines of evidence, we proposed that DMSO enhanced EcTopo I relaxation activity by (1) increasing the single-stranded DNA regions for the activities of EcTopo I in the early and middle stages of the reaction and (2) preventing the formation of double-stranded DNA-enzyme complex in the later stage, which can elevate the effective concentration of the topoisomerase in the reaction solution.