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Nucleic Acids Res. 2001 Feb 1;29(3):598-603.

Stable expression in yeast of the mature form of human telomerase RNA depends on its association with the box H/ACA small nucleolar RNP proteins Cbf5p, Nhp2p and Nop10p.

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Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire Eucaryote du CNRS, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse Cedex 04, France and Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings, Edinburgh EH9 3JR, UK.


Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) particle required for the replication of telomeres. The RNA component, termed hTR, of human telomerase contains a domain structurally and functionally related to box H/ACA small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs). Furthermore, hTR is known to be associated with two core components of H/ACA snoRNPs, hGar1p and Dyskerin (the human counterpart of yeast Cbf5p). To assess the functional importance of the association of hTR with H/ACA snoRNP core proteins, we have attempted to express hTR in a genetically tractable system, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Both mature non-polyadenylated and polyadenylated forms of hTR accumulate in yeast. The former is associated with all yeast H/ACA snoRNP core proteins, unlike TLC1 RNA, the endogenous RNA component of yeast telomerase. We show that the presence of the H/ACA snoRNP proteins Cbf5p, Nhp2p and Nop10p, but not Gar1p, is required for the accumulation of mature non-polyadenylated hTR in yeast, while accumulation of TLC1 RNA is not affected by the absence of any of these proteins. Our results demonstrate that yeast telomerase is unrelated to H/ACA snoRNPs. In addition, they show that the accumulation in yeast of the mature RNA component of human telomerase depends on its association with three of the four core H/ACA snoRNP proteins. It is likely that this is the case in human cells as well.

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