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Reference: Lue NF and Li Z (2007) Modeling and structure function analysis of the putative anchor site of yeast telomerase. Nucleic Acids Res 35(15):5213-22

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Abstract

Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein reverse transcriptase responsible for extending one strand of the telomere terminal repeats. Unique among reverse transcriptases, telomerase is thought to possess a DNA-binding domain (known as anchor site) that allows the enzyme to add telomere repeats processively. Previous crosslinking and mutagenesis studies have mapped the anchor site to an N-terminal region of TERT, and the structure of this region of Tetrahymena TERT was recently determined at atomic resolutions. Here we use a combination of homology modeling, electrostatic calculation and site-specific mutagenesis analysis to identify a positively charged, functionally important surface patch on yeast TERT. This patch is lined by both conserved and non-conserved residues, which when mutated, caused loss of telomerase processivity in vitro and telomere shortening in vivo. In addition, we demonstrate that a point mutation in this domain of yeast TERT simultaneously enhanced the repeat addition processivity of telomerase and caused telomere elongation. Our data argue that telomerase anchor site has evolved species-specific residues to interact with species-specific telomere repeats. The data also reinforce the importance of telomerase processivity in regulating telomere length.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't | Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Authors
Lue NF, Li Z
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