Topoisomerases Modulate the Timing of Meiotic DNA Breakage and Chromosome Morphogenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Jonna Heldrich, Xiaoji Sun, Luis A. Vale-Silva, Tovah E. Markowitz, Andreas Hochwagen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During meiotic prophase, concurrent transcription, recombination, and chromosome synapsis place substantial topological strain on chromosomal DNA, but the role of topoisomerases in this context remains poorly defined. Here, we analyzed the roles of topoisomerases I and II (Top1 and Top2) during meiotic prophase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We show that both topoisomerases accumulate primarily in promoter-containing intergenic regions of actively transcribing genes, including many meiotic double-strand break (DSB) hotspots. Despite the comparable binding patterns, top1 and top2 mutations have different effects on meiotic recombination. TOP1 disruption delays DSB induction and shortens the window of DSB accumulation by an unknown mechanism. By contrast, temperature-sensitive top2-1 mutants exhibit a marked delay in meiotic chromosome remodeling and elevated DSB signals on synapsed chromosomes. The problems in chromosome remodeling were linked to altered Top2 binding patterns rather than a loss of Top2 catalytic activity, and stemmed from a defect in recruiting the chromosome remodeler Pch2/TRIP13 to synapsed chromosomes. No chromosomal defects were observed in the absence of TOP1. Our results imply independent roles for Top1 and Top2 in modulating meiotic chromosome structure and recombination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-73
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Hop1
  • Meiosis
  • Synaptonemal complex
  • Topo I
  • Topo II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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