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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Telomere formation by rap1p binding site arrays reveals end-specific length regulation requirements and active telomeric recombination.

Rap1p, the major telomere repeat binding protein in yeast, has been implicated in both de novo telomere formation and telomere length regulation. To characterize the role of Rap1p in these processes in more detail, we studied the generation of telomeres in vivo from linear DNA substrates containing defined arrays of Rap1p binding sites. Consistent with previous work, our results indicate that synthetic Rap1p binding sites within the internal half of a telomeric array are recognized as an integral part of the telomere complex in an orientation-independent manner that is largely insensitive to the precise spacing between adjacent sites. By extending the lengths of these constructs, we found that several different Rap1p site arrays could never be found at the very distal end of a telomere, even when correctly oriented. Instead, these synthetic arrays were always followed by a short ( approximately 100-bp) "cap" of genuine TG repeat sequence, indicating a remarkably strict sequence requirement for an end-specific function(s) of the telomere. Despite this fact, even misoriented Rap1p site arrays promote telomere formation when they are placed at the distal end of a telomere-healing substrate, provided that at least a single correctly oriented site is present within the array. Surprisingly, these heterogeneous arrays of Rap1p binding sites generate telomeres through a RAD52-dependent fusion resolution reaction that results in an inversion of the original array. Our results provide new insights into the nature of telomere end capping and reveal one way by which recombination can resolve a defect in this process.[1]


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