Topoisomerase 2 (TOP2) DNA transactions proceed via formation of the TOP2 cleavage complex (TOP2cc), a covalent enzyme-DNA reaction intermediate that is vulnerable to trapping by potent anticancer TOP2 drugs. How genotoxic TOP2 DNA-protein cross-links are resolved is unclear. We found that the SUMO (small ubiquitin-related modifier) ligase ZATT (ZNF451) is a multifunctional DNA repair factor that controls cellular responses to TOP2 damage. ZATT binding to TOP2cc facilitates a proteasome-independent tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase 2 (TDP2) hydrolase activity on stalled TOP2cc. The ZATT SUMO ligase activity further promotes TDP2 interactions with SUMOylated TOP2, regulating efficient TDP2 recruitment through a “split-SIM” SUMO2 engagement platform. These findings uncover a ZATT-TDP2–catalyzed and SUMO2-modulated pathway for direct resolution of TOP2cc.
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