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Mol Cell. 2010 May 28;38(4):614-20. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2010.04.016.

The telomere-binding protein Tbf1 demarcates snoRNA gene promoters in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare, Universit√† degli Studi di Parma, Parma, Italy.


Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) play a key role in ribosomal RNA biogenesis, yet factors controlling their expression are unknown. We found that the majority of Saccharomyces snoRNA promoters display an aRCCCTaa sequence motif at the upstream border of a TATA-containing nucleosome-free region. Genome-wide ChIP-seq analysis showed that these motifs are bound by Tbf1, a telomere-binding protein known to recognize mammalian-like T(2)AG(3) repeats at subtelomeric regions. Tbf1 has over 100 additional promoter targets, including several other genes involved in ribosome biogenesis and the TBF1 gene itself. Tbf1 is required for full snoRNA expression, yet it does not influence nucleosome positioning at snoRNA promoters. In contrast, Tbf1 contributes to nucleosome exclusion at non-snoRNA promoters, where it selectively colocalizes with the Tbf1-interacting zinc-finger proteins Vid22 and Ygr071c. Our data show that, besides the ribosomal protein gene regulator Rap1, a second telomere-binding protein also functions as a transcriptional regulator linked to yeast ribosome biogenesis.

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