Telomeric chromatin: replicating and wrapping up chromosome ends.
ABSTRACT Recent advances in our understanding of the specialized chromatin structure at telomeres, the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, have focused on three separate areas: replication of telomeres through the coordinated action of conventional DNA polymerases and the telomerase enzyme, protection of the chromosome end from DNA damage checkpoint sensors and DNA-repair processes, and the discovery of a novel deacetylase enzyme (Sir2p) required for the establishment and maintenance of telomeric heterochromatin. Although the number of proteins and the complexity of their interactions at telomeres continues to grow, a picture of at least some of the major players and mechanisms underlying telomere replication, end 'capping' and chromatin assembly is beginning to emerge.
Article: Telomere length as a quantitative trait: genome-wide survey and genetic mapping of telomere length-control genes in yeast.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Telomere length-variation in deletion strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae was used to identify genes and pathways that regulate telomere length. We found 72 genes that when deleted confer short telomeres, and 80 genes that confer long telomeres relative to those of wild-type yeast. Among identified genes, 88 have not been previously implicated in telomere length control. Genes that regulate telomere length span a variety of functions that can be broadly separated into telomerase-dependent and telomerase-independent pathways. We also found 39 genes that have an important role in telomere maintenance or cell proliferation in the absence of telomerase, including genes that participate in deoxyribonucleotide biosynthesis, sister chromatid cohesion, and vacuolar protein sorting. Given the large number of loci identified, we investigated telomere lengths in 13 wild yeast strains and found substantial natural variation in telomere length among the isolates. Furthermore, we crossed a wild isolate to a laboratory strain and analyzed telomere length in 122 progeny. Genome-wide linkage analysis among these segregants revealed two loci that account for 30%-35% of telomere length-variation between the strains. These findings support a general model of telomere length-variation in outbred populations that results from polymorphisms at a large number of loci. Furthermore, our results laid the foundation for studying genetic determinants of telomere length-variation and their roles in human disease.PLoS Genetics 04/2006; 2(3):e35. · 8.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A hallmark of p53 function is to regulate a transcriptional program in response to extracellular and intracellular stress that directs cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and cellular senescence. Independent of the role of p53 in the nucleus, some of the anti-proliferative functions of p53 reside within the mitochondria . p53 can arrest cell growth in response to mitochondrial p53 in an EJ bladder carcinoma cell environment that is naïve of p53 function until induced to express p53 . TP53 can independently partition with endogenous nuclear and mitochondrial proteins consistent with the ability of p53 to enact senescence. In order to address the role of p53 in navigating cellular senescence through the mitochondria, we identified SirT3 to rescue EJ/p53 cells from induced p53-mediated growth arrest. Human SirT3 function appears coupled with p53 early during the initiation of p53 expression in the mitochondria by biochemical and cellular localization analysis. Our evidence suggests that SirT3 partially abrogates p53 activity to enact growth arrest and senescence. Additionally, we identified the chaperone protein BAG-2 in averting SirT3 targeting of p53 -mediated senescence. These studies identify a complex relationship between p53, SirT3, and chaperoning factor BAG-2 that may link the salvaging and quality assurance of the p53 protein for control of cellular fate independent of transcriptional activity.PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(5):e10486. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Telomeres are heterochromatic structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. As other heterochromatin regions, telomeres are transcribed, from the subtelomeric region towards chromosome ends into the long non-coding RNA TERRA. Telomere transcription is a widespread phenomenon as it has been observed in species belonging to several kingdoms of the eukaryotic domain. TERRA is part of telomeric heterochromatin in addition to being present in the nucleoplasm. Here, we review the current knowledge of TERRA structure, biogenesis and turnover. In addition, we discuss presumed roles of this RNA during replication of telomeric DNA, heterochromatin formation and the regulation of telomerase.FEBS letters 09/2010; 584(17):3812-8. · 3.54 Impact Factor