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

An essential yeast gene encoding a TTAGGG repeat-binding protein.

A yeast gene encoding a DNA-binding protein that recognizes the telomeric repeat sequence TTAGGG found in multicellular eukaryotes was identified by screening a lambda gt11 expression library with a radiolabeled TTAGGG multimer. This gene, which we refer to as TBF1 (TTAGGG repeat-binding factor 1), encodes a polypeptide with a predicted molecular mass of 63 kDa. The TBF1 protein, produced in vitro by transcription and translation of the cloned gene, binds to (TTAGGG)n probes and to a yeast telomeric junction sequence that contains two copies of the sequence TTAGGG separated by 5 bp. TBF1 appears to be identical to a previously described yeast TTAGGG-repeat binding activity called TBF alpha. TBF1 produced in vitro yields protein-DNA complexes with (TTAGGG)n probes that have mobilities on native polyacrylamide gels identical to those produced by partially purified TBF alpha from yeast cells. Furthermore, when extracts are prepared from a strain containing a TBF1 gene with an antigen tag, we find that the antigen copurifies with the predominant (TTAGGG)n-binding activity in the extracts. The DNA sequence of TBF1 was determined. The predicted protein sequence suggests that TBF1 may contain a nucleotide-binding domain, but no significant similarities to any other known proteins were identified, nor was an obvious DNA-binding motif apparent. Diploid cells heterozygous for a tbf1::URA3 insertion mutation are viable but upon sporulation give rise to tetrads with only two viable spores, both of which are Ura-, indicating that the TBF1 gene is essential for growth. Possible functions of TBF1 (TFB alpha) are discussed in light of these new results.[1]


  1. An essential yeast gene encoding a TTAGGG repeat-binding protein. Brigati, C., Kurtz, S., Balderes, D., Vidali, G., Shore, D. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1993) [Pubmed]
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