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Genes Dev. 2010 Mar 15;24(6):613-22. doi: 10.1101/gad.1881810.

Functional interaction between telomere protein TPP1 and telomerase.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Colorado, Boulder, 80309, USA.


Human chromosome end-capping and telomerase regulation require POT1 (Protection of Telomeres 1) and TPP1 proteins, which bind to the 3' ssDNA extension of human telomeres. POT1-TPP1 binding to telomeric DNA activates telomerase repeat addition processivity. We now provide evidence that this POT1-TPP1 activation requires specific interactions with telomerase, rather than it being a DNA substrate-specific effect. First, telomerase from the fish medaka, which extends the same telomeric DNA primer as human telomerase, was not activated by human POT1-TPP1. Second, mutation of a conserved glycine, Gly100 in the TEN (telomerase essential N-terminal) domain of TERT, abolished the enhancement of telomerase processivity by POT1-TPP1, in contrast to other single amino acid mutations. Chimeric human-fish telomerases that contained the human TEN domain were active but not stimulated by POT1-TPP1, showing that additional determinants of processivity lie outside the TEN domain. Finally, primers bound to mouse POT1A and human TPP1 were activated for extension by human telomerase, whereas mPOT1A-mTPP1 was most active with mouse telomerase, indicating that these mammalian telomerases have specificity for their respective TPP1 proteins. We suggest that a sequence-specific interaction between TPP1 in the TPP1-POT1-telomeric DNA complex and the G100 region of the TEN domain of TERT is necessary for high-processivity telomerase action.

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