We recently showed that abasic sites, uracil mismatches, nicks, and gaps can trap DNA topoisomerase I (top1) when these lesions are introduced in the vicinity of a top1 cleavage site (Pourquier, P., Ueng, L.-M., Kohlhagen, G., Mazumder, A., Gupta, M., Kohn, K. W., and Pommier, Y. (1997) J. Biol. Chem. 272, 7792-7796; Pourquier, P., Pilon, A. A., Kohlhagen, G., Mazumder, A., Sharma, A., and Pommier, Y. (1997) J. Biol. Chem. 26441-26447). In this study, we investigated the effects on top1 of an abundant base damage generated by various oxidative stresses: 7-8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG). Using purified eukaryotic top1 and oligonucleotides containing the 8-oxoG modification, we found a 3-7-fold increase in top1-mediated DNA cleavage when 8-oxoG was present at the +1 or +2 position relative to the cleavage site. Another oxidative lesion, 5-hydroxycytosine, also enhanced top1 cleavage by 2-fold when incorporated at the +1 position of the scissile strand. 8-oxoG at the +1 position enhanced noncovalent top1 DNA binding and had no detectable effect on DNA religation or on the incision step. top1 trapping by 8-oxoG was markedly enhanced when asparagine adjacent to the catalytic tyrosine was mutated to histidine, suggesting a direct interaction between this residue and the DNA major groove immediately downstream from the top1 cleavage site. Altogether, these results demonstrate that oxidative base lesions can increase top1 binding to DNA and induce top1 cleavage complexes.