Research Summary: OsSpo11-4, a Rice Homologue of the Archaeal TopVIA Protein, Mediates Double-Strand DNA Cleavage and Interacts with OsTopVIB
DNA topoisomerase VI from Archaea, a heterotetrameric complex composed of two TopVIA and two TopVIB subunits, is involved in altering DNA topology during replication, transcription and chromosome segregation by catalyzing DNA strand transfer through transient double-strand breaks. The sequenced yeast and animal genomes encode only one homologue of the archaeal TopVIA subunit, namely Spo11, and no homologue of the archaeal TopVIB subunit. In yeast, Spo11 is essential for initiating meiotic recombination and this function appears conserved among other eukaryotes. In contrast to yeast and animals, studies in Arabidopsis and rice have identified three Spo11/TopVIA homologues and one TopVIB homologue in plants. Here, we further identified two novel Spo11/TopVIA homologues (named OsSpo11-4 and OsSpo11-5, respectively) that exist just in the monocot model plant Oryza sativa, indicating that at least five Spo11/TopVIA homologues are present in the rice genome. To reveal the biochemical function of the two novel Spo11/TopVIA homologues, we first examined the interactions among OsSpo11-1, OsSpo11-4, OsSpo11-5, and OsTopVIB by yeast two-hybrid assay. The results showed that OsSpo11-4 and OsTopVIB can self-interact strongly and among the 3 examined OsSpo11 proteins, only OsSpo11-4 interacted with OsTopVIB. Pull-down assay confirmed the interaction between OsSpo11-4 and OsTopVIB, which indicates that OsSpo11-4 may interact with OsTopVIB in vivo. Further in vitro enzymatic analysis revealed that among the above 4 proteins, only OsSpo11-4 exhibited double-strand DNA cleavage activity and its enzymatic activity appears dependent on Mg2+ and independent of OsTopVIB, despite its interaction with OsTopVIB. We further analyzed the biological function of OsSpo11-4 by RNA interference and found that down-regulated expression of OsSpo11-4 led to defects in male meiosis, indicating OsSpo11-4 is required for meiosis.