Reference: Lebo KJ and Zappulla DC (2012) Stiffened yeast telomerase RNA supports RNP function in vitro and in vivo. RNA 18(9):1666-78

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Abstract


The 1157-nt Saccharomyces cerevisiae telomerase RNA, TLC1, in addition to providing a 16-nt template region for reverse transcription, has been proposed to act as a scaffold for protein subunits. Although accessory subunits of the telomerase ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex function even when their binding sites are relocated on the yeast telomerase RNA, the physical nature of the RNA scaffold has not been directly analyzed. Here we explore the structure-function organization of the yeast telomerase RNP by extensively stiffening the three long arms of TLC1, which connect essential and important accessory protein subunits Ku, Est1, and Sm(7), to its central catalytic hub. This 956-nt triple-stiff-arm TLC1 (TSA-T) reconstitutes active telomerase with TERT (Est2) in vitro. Furthermore, TSA-T functions in vivo, even maintaining longer telomeres than TLC1 on a per RNA basis. We also tested functional contributions of each stiffened arm within TSA-T and found that the stiffened Est1 and Ku arms contribute to telomere lengthening, while stiffening the terminal arm reduces telomere length and telomerase RNA abundance. The fact that yeast telomerase tolerates significant stiffening of its RNA subunit in vivo advances our understanding of the architectural and functional organization of this RNP and, more broadly, our conception of the world of lncRNPs.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't | Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Authors
Lebo KJ, Zappulla DC
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