Reference: Noel JF and Wellinger RJ (2011) Abrupt telomere losses and reduced end-resection can explain accelerated senescence of Smc5/6 mutants lacking telomerase. DNA Repair (Amst) 10(3):271-82

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Abstract


The highly conserved Structural Maintenance of Chromosome (SMC) proteins are crucial for the formation of three essential complexes involved in high fidelity chromosome transmission during cell division. Recently, the Smc5/6 complex has been reported to be important for telomere maintenance in yeast and also in cancerous human ALT cells, where it could function in a homologous recombination-based (HR) telomere maintenance pathway. Here, we investigate the possible roles of the budding yeast Smc5/6 complex in maintaining appropriate chromosome end-structures allowing cell survival in absence of telomerase. The results show that cells harbouring mutant alleles of genes encoding Smc5/6-complex proteins rapidly stop growing after telomerase loss. Furthermore, this telomerase-induced growth arrest is much more pronounced as compared to cultures with a functional Smc5/6-complex. Bulk telomere sequence loss is not increased in the mutant cells and the evidence suggests that Smc5/6 slows senescence through a partially HR-independent pathway. We propose that in yeast, the Smc5/6-complex is required for efficient and timely termination of DNA replication and repair at telomeres to avoid stochastic telomere loss during cell division. Consistent with this hypothesis, sequencing of telomeres from telomerase-positive smc5/6 mutant cells revealed a higher frequency of telomere breakage events. Finally, the results also show that on dysfunctional telomeres, the generation of 3'-single stranded DNA is impaired, suggesting that the complex may also participate in the formation of single-stranded overhangs which are thought to be the substrates for telomere repeat replenishment in the absence of telomerase.CI - Copyright A(c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Journal Article
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Noel JF, Wellinger RJ
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