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Genetics. 2002 Nov;162(3):1101-15.

The Est1 subunit of Saccharomyces cerevisiae telomerase makes multiple contributions to telomere length maintenance.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


The telomerase-associated Est1 protein of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mediates enzyme access by bridging the interaction between the catalytic core of telomerase and the telomere-binding protein Cdc13. In addition to recruiting telomerase, Est1 may act as a positive regulator of telomerase once the enzyme has been brought to the telomere, as previously suggested by the inability of a Cdc13-Est2 fusion protein to promote extensive telomere elongation in an est1-Delta strain. We report here three classes of mutant Est1 proteins that retain association with the telomerase enzyme but confer different in vivo consequences. Class 1 mutants display a telomere replication defect but are capable of promoting extensive telomere elongation in the presence of a Cdc13-Est2 fusion protein, consistent with a defect in telomerase recruitment. Class 2 mutants fail to elongate telomeres even in the presence of the Cdc13-Est2 fusion, which is the phenotype predicted for a defect in the proposed second regulatory function of EST1. A third class of mutants impairs an activity of Est1 that is potentially required for the Ku-mediated pathway of telomere length maintenance. The isolation of mutations that perturb separate functions of Est1 demonstrates that a telomerase holoenzyme subunit can contribute multiple regulatory roles to telomere length maintenance.

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