Nucleic acids research

Rhythmic binding of Topoisomerase I impacts on the transcription of Bmal1 and circadian period.

PMID 22904072


The Bmal1 gene is essential for the circadian system, and its promoter has a unique open chromatin structure. We examined the mechanism of topoisomerase I (Top1) to understand the role of the unique chromatin structure in Bmal1 gene regulation. Camptothecin, a Top1 inhibitor, and Top1 small interfering RNA (siRNA) enhanced Baml1 transcription and lengthened its circadian period. Top1 is located at an intermediate region between two ROREs that are critical cis-elements of circadian transcription and the profile of Top1 binding indicated anti-phase circadian oscillation of Bmal1 transcription. Promoter assays showed that the Top1-binding site is required for transcriptional suppression and that it functions cooperatively with the distal RORE, supporting that Bmal1 transcription is upregulated by Top1 inhibition. A DNA fragment between the ROREs, where the Top1-binding site is located, behaved like a right-handed superhelical twist, and modulation of Top1 activity by camptothecin and Top1 siRNA altered the footprint profile, indicating modulation of the chromatin structure. These data indicate that Top1 modulates the chromatin structure of the Bmal1 promoter, regulates Bmal1 transcription and influences the circadian period.