Topoisomerase II is the cytotoxic target for a number of clinically relevant antineoplastic drugs. Despite the fact that these agents differ significantly in structure, a previous study [Corbett, A. H., Hong, D., & Osheroff, N. (1993) J. Biol. Chem. 268, 14394-14398] indicated that the site of action for etoposide on topoisomerase II overlaps those of other DNA cleavage-enhancing drugs. Therefore, to further define interactions between drugs and the enzyme, the functional interaction domain (i.e., interaction domain defined by drug function) for quinolones on Drosophila topoisomerase II was mapped with respect to several classes of antineoplastic agents. This was accomplished by characterizing the effects of ciprofloxacin (a gyrase-targeted antibacterial quinolone) on the ability of etoposide, amsacrine, genistein, and the antineoplastic quinolone, CP-115,953, to enhance topoisomerase II-mediated DNA cleavage. Although ciprofloxacin interacts with the eukaryotic type II enzyme, it shows little ability to stimulate DNA cleavage. Ciprofloxacin attenuated cleavage enhancement by all of the above drugs. Similar results were obtained using a related quinolone, CP-80,080, as a competitor. In addition, kinetic analysis of DNA cleavage indicated that ciprofloxacin is a competitive inhibitor of CP-115,953 and etoposide. Finally, ciprofloxacin inhibited the cytotoxic actions of CP-115,953 and etoposide in mammalian cells to an extent that paralleled its in vitro attenuation of cleavage. These results strongly suggest that several structurally disparate DNA cleavage-enhancing antineoplastic drugs share an overlapping site of action on topoisomerase II. Based on the results of drug competition and mutagenesis studies, a model for the drug interaction domain on topoisomerase II is described.