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Nucleic Acids Res. 1992 Dec 25;20(24):6621-9.

Euplotes crassus has genes encoding telomere-binding proteins and telomere-binding protein homologs.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Nebraska, Lincoln 68588.


We have identified two 1.6 kb macronuclear DNA molecules from Euplotes crassus that hybridize to the alpha subunit of the Oxytricha telomere protein. We have shown that one of these molecules encodes the 51 kDa Euplotes telomere protein while the other appears to encode a homolog of the telomere protein. Although this homolog clearly differs in sequence from the Euplotes telomere protein, the two proteins share extensive amino acid sequence identity with each other and with the alpha subunit of the Oxytricha telomere protein. In all three proteins 35-36% of the amino acids are identical, while 54-56% are similar. The most extended regions of sequence conservation map within the N-terminal section; this section has been shown to comprise the DNA-binding domain in the Euplotes telomere protein. Our findings suggest that some of the conserved amino acids may be involved in DNA recognition and binding. The gene encoding the telomere protein homolog contains two introns; one of these introns is only 24 bp in length. This is the smallest mRNA intron reported to date.

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