Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Yuk-Ching Tse-Dinh

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Yesim Darici

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Co-Committee chair

Third Advisor's Name

Yuan Liu

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Xiaotang Wang

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Watson Lees

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Protein-protein interactions, Bacterial topoisomerase I, Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Date of Defense



Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are essential features of cellular processes including DNA replication, transcription, translation, recombination, and repair. In my study, the protein interactions of bacterial DNA topoisomerase I, an essential enzyme, were investigated. The topoisomerase I in bacteria relaxes excess negative supercoiling on DNA and maintains genomic stability. Investigating the PPI network of DNA topoisomerase I can further our understanding of the various functional roles of this enzyme. My study is focused on topoisomerase I of Escherichia coli and Mycobacterium smegmatis. Firstly, we have explored the biochemical mechanisms for an interaction between RNA Polymerase, and topoisomerase I in E. coli. Molecular docking and molecular dynamic simulations have predicted that the interactions are mediated through electrostatic, and hydrogen bonding. The predicted Lysine residues (K627, K664) of topoisomerase I that are involved in the electrostatic interactions were mutated to Alanine, and its effect on the binding efficiency with RNA polymerase was reported. In a separate study, PPI partners of topoisomerase I in mycobacteria were identified. Knowledge gained from the study can provide valuable insights into the physiological functions of a validated drug target, DNA topoisomerase I, in pathogenic mycobacteria. Co-immunoprecipitation and pull-down assays were coupled to mass spectrometry for identification of the protein partners of mycobacterial topoisomerase I. The study has identified RNA polymerase, and putative helicases (DEAD/DEAH BOX helicases) as potential protein partners of mycobacterial topoisomerase I. My results indicated that the tail region of the CTD-topoisomerase I was required for direct physical interaction with the RNAP beta’ subunit. My studies have also verified the physiological relevance of the topoisomerase I - RNA polymerase interactions for survival under antibiotic, and oxidative stress. Lastly, I report a direct physical interaction between E. coli topoisomerase I and RecA by pull-down assays. Previous studies have shown that RecA, a DNA repair protein, can stimulate the relaxation activity of E. coli topoisomerase I. Our new results showed that the stimulatory effect can be attributed to the physical interaction of topoisomerase I with RecA.





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