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Genes Dev. 1996 Dec 15;10(24):3094-104.

Est1 has the properties of a single-stranded telomere end-binding protein.

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


In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, deletion of the EST1 gene results in phenotypes identical to those displayed by a deletion of a known component of telomerase (the yeast telomerase RNA), arguing that EST1 is also critical for telomerase function. In this study, we show that the Estl protein binds to yeast G-rich telomeric oligonucleotides in vitro. Binding is specific for single-stranded substrates and requires a free 3' terminus, consistent with the properties expected for a protein bound to the 3' single-stranded G-rich extension present at the telomere. Assessment of the in vivo function of this single-stranded DNA-binding protein has shown that EST1 acts in the same pathway of telomere replication as the TLC1 telomerase RNA, by several different genetic criteria: est1 tlc1 double mutant strains show no enhancement of phenotype relative to either single mutant strain, and EST1 dominant mutations have an effect on telomeric silencing similar to that displayed by TLC1 previously. We propose that Est1 is a telomere end-binding protein that is required to mediate recognition of the end of the chromosome by telomerase.

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