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Genetics. 1994 Dec;138(4):1025-40.

Mutational analysis defines a C-terminal tail domain of RAP1 essential for Telomeric silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Graduate Program in Molecular Biology, Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, New York, New York 10021.


Alleles specifically defective in telomeric silencing were generated by in vitro mutagenesis of the yeast RAP1 gene. The most severe phenotypes occur with three mutations in the C-terminal 28 amino acids. Two of the alleles are nonsense mutations resulting in truncated repressor/activator protein 1 (RAP1) species lacking the C-terminal 25-28 amino acids; the third allele is a missense mutation within this region. These alleles define a novel 28-amino acid region, termed the C-terminal tail domain, that is essential for telomeric and HML silencing. Using site-directed mutagenesis, an 8-amino acid region (amino acids 818-825) that is essential for telomeric silencing has been localized within this domain. Further characterization of these alleles has indicated that the C-terminal tail domain also plays a role in telomere size control. The function of the C-terminal tail in telomere maintenance is not mediated through the RAP1 interacting factor RIF1: rap1 alleles defective in both the C-terminal tail and RIF1 interaction domains have additive effects on telomere length. Overproduction of SIR3, a dose-dependent enhancer of telomeric silencing, suppresses the telomeric silencing, but not length, phenotypes of a subset of C-terminal tail alleles. In contrast, an allele that truncates the terminal 28 amino acids of RAP1 is refractory to SIR3 overproduction. These results indicate that the C-terminal tail domain is required for SIR3-dependent enhancement of telomeric silencing. These data also suggest a distinct set of C-terminal requirements for telomere size control and telomeric silencing.

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