Rap1 is the main protein that binds double-stranded telomeric DNA in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Examination of the telomere functions of Rap1 is complicated by the fact that it also acts as a transcriptional regulator of hundreds of genes and is encoded by an essential gene. In this study, we disrupt Rap1 telomere association by expressing a mutant telomerase RNA subunit (tlc1-tm) that introduces mutant telomeric repeats. tlc1-tm cells grow similar to wild-type cells, although depletion of Rap1 at telomeres causes defects in telomere length regulation and telomere capping. Rif2 is a protein normally recruited to telomeres by Rap1, but we show that Rif2 can still associate with Rap1-depleted tlc1-tm telomeres, and that this association is required to inhibit telomere degradation by the MRX complex. Rif2 and the Ku complex work in parallel to prevent tlc1-tm telo-mere degradation; tlc1-tm cells lacking Rif2 and the Ku complex are inviable. The partially redundant mechanisms may explain the rapid evolution of telomere components in budding yeast species.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Cell Biology