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Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Jan;22(1):286-97.

Yeast hnRNP K-like genes are involved in regulation of the telomeric position effect and telomere length.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA. odenis@u.washington.edu


Mammalian heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K) is an RNA- and DNA-binding protein implicated in the regulation of gene expression processes. To better understand its function, we studied two Saccharomyces cerevisiae homologues of the human hnRNP K, PBP2 and HEK2 (heterogeneous nuclear RNP K-like gene). pbp2Delta and hek2Delta mutations inhibited expression of a marker gene that was inserted near telomere but not at internal chromosomal locations. The telomere proximal to the ectopic marker gene became longer, while most of the other telomeres were not altered in the double mutant cells. We provide evidence that telomere elongation might be the primary event that causes enhanced silencing of an adjacent reporter gene. The telomere lengthening could, in part, be explained by the inhibitory effect of hek2Delta mutation on the telomeric rapid deletion pathway. Hek2p was detected in a complex with chromosome regions proximal to the affected telomere, suggesting a direct involvement of this protein in telomere maintenance. These results identify a role for hnRNP K-like genes in the structural and functional organization of telomeric chromatin in yeast.

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