ABSTRACT: Human telomeres bind shelterin, the six-subunit protein complex that protects chromosome ends from the DNA damage response and regulates telomere length maintenance by telomerase. We used quantitative immunoblotting to determine the abundance and stoichiometry of the shelterin proteins in the chromatin-bound protein fraction of human cells. The abundance of shelterin components was similar in primary and transformed cells and was not correlated with telomere length. The duplex telomeric DNA binding factors in shelterin, TRF1 and TRF2, were sufficiently abundant to cover all telomeric DNA in cells with short telomeres. The TPP1.POT1 heterodimer was present 50-100 copies/telomere, which is in excess of its single-stranded telomeric DNA binding sites, indicating that some of the TPP1.POT1 in shelterin is not associated with the single-stranded telomeric DNA. TRF2 and Rap1 were present at 1:1 stoichiometry as were TPP1 and POT1. The abundance of TIN2 was sufficient to allow each TRF1 and TRF2 to bind to TIN2. Remarkably, TPP1 and POT1 were approximately 10-fold less abundant than their TIN2 partner in shelterin, raising the question of what limits the accumulation of TPP1 x POT1 at telomeres. Finally, we report that a 10-fold reduction in TRF2 affects the regulation of telomere length but not the protection of telomeres in tumor cell lines.
Project description:Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes that play essential roles in protecting chromosome ends. Mammalian telomeres consist of repetitive DNA sequences bound by the shelterin complex. In this complex, the POT1-TPP1 heterodimer binds to single-stranded telomeric DNAs, while TRF1 and TRF2-RAP1 interact with double-stranded telomeric DNAs. TIN2, the linchpin of this complex, simultaneously interacts with TRF1, TRF2, and TPP1 to mediate the stable assembly of the shelterin complex. However, the molecular mechanism by which TIN2 interacts with these proteins to orchestrate telomere protection remains poorly understood. Here, we report the crystal structure of the N-terminal domain of TIN2 in complex with TIN2-binding motifs from TPP1 and TRF2, revealing how TIN2 interacts cooperatively with TPP1 and TRF2. Unexpectedly, TIN2 contains a telomeric repeat factor homology (TRFH)-like domain that functions as a protein-protein interaction platform. Structure-based mutagenesis analyses suggest that TIN2 plays an important role in maintaining the stable shelterin complex required for proper telomere end protection.
Project description:The Shelterin complex associates with telomeres and plays an essential role in telomere protection and telomerase regulation. In its most abundant form, the complex is composed of six core components: TRF1, TRF2, POT1, TIN2, TPP1 and RAP1. Of these subunits, three can interact directly with either single-stranded (POT1) or double-stranded (TRF1, TRF2) telomeric DNA. In this report, we have developed assays to measure the DNA binding activity of Shelterin complexes in human cell extracts. With these assays, we have characterized the composition and DNA binding specificity of two Shelterin complexes: a 6-member complex that contains all six core components and a second complex that lacks TRF1. Our results show that both of these complexes bind with high affinity (K(D) = 1.3-1.5 × 10(-9) M) and selectively to ds/ss-DNA junctions that carry both a binding site for POT1 (ss-TTAGGGTTAG) and a binding site for the SANT/Myb domain of TRF1 or TRF2 (ds-TTAGGGTTA). This DNA binding specificity suggests the preferential recruitment of these complexes to areas of the telomere where ss- and ds-DNA are in close proximity, such as the 3'-telomeric overhang, telomeric DNA bubbles and the D-loop at the base of T-loops.
Project description:The human shelterin proteins associate with telomeric DNA to confer telomere protection and length regulation. They are thought to form higher-order protein complexes for their functions, but studies of shelterin proteins have been mostly limited to pairs of proteins. Here we co-express various human shelterin proteins and find that they form defined multi-subunit complexes. A complex harboring both TRF2 and POT1 has the strongest binding affinity to telomeric DNA substrates comprised of double-stranded DNA with a 3' single-stranded extension. TRF2 interacts with TIN2 with an unexpected 2:1 stoichiometry in the context of shelterin (RAP12:TRF22:TIN21:TPP11:POT11). Tethering of TPP1 to the telomere either via TRF2-TIN2 or via POT1 gives equivalent enhancement of telomerase processivity. We also identify a peptide region from TPP1 that is both critical and sufficient for TIN2 interaction. Our findings reveal new information about the architecture of human shelterin and how it performs its functions at telomeres.
Project description:The semiconservative replication of telomeres is facilitated by the shelterin component TRF1. Without TRF1, replication forks stall in the telomeric repeats, leading to ATR kinase signaling upon S-phase progression, fragile metaphase telomeres that resemble the common fragile sites (CFSs), and the association of sister telomeres. In contrast, TRF1 does not contribute significantly to the end protection functions of shelterin. We addressed the mechanism of TRF1 action using mouse conditional knockouts of BLM, TRF1, TPP1, and Rap1 in combination with expression of TRF1 and TIN2 mutants. The data establish that TRF1 binds BLM to facilitate lagging but not leading strand telomeric DNA synthesis. As the template for lagging strand telomeric DNA synthesis is the TTAGGG repeat strand, TRF1-bound BLM is likely required to remove secondary structures formed by these sequences. In addition, the data establish that TRF1 deploys TIN2 and the TPP1/POT1 heterodimers in shelterin to prevent ATR during telomere replication and repress the accompanying sister telomere associations. Thus, TRF1 uses two distinct mechanisms to promote replication of telomeric DNA and circumvent the consequences of replication stress. These data are relevant to the expression of CFSs and provide insights into TIN2, which is compromised in dyskeratosis congenita (DC) and related disorders.
Project description:Telomeres are maintained by three DNA-binding proteins (telomeric repeat binding factor 1 [TRF1], TRF2, and protector of telomeres 1 [POT1]) and several associated factors. One factor, TRF1-interacting protein 2 (TIN2), binds TRF1 and TRF2 directly and POT1 indirectly. Along with two other proteins, TPP1 and hRap1, these form a soluble complex that may be the core telomere maintenance complex. It is not clear whether subcomplexes also exist in vivo. We provide evidence for two TIN2 subcomplexes with distinct functions in human cells. We isolated these two TIN2 subcomplexes from nuclear lysates of unperturbed cells and cells expressing TIN2 mutants TIN2-13 and TIN2-15C, which cannot bind TRF2 or TRF1, respectively. In cells with wild-type p53 function, TIN2-15C was more potent than TIN2-13 in causing telomere uncapping and eventual growth arrest. In cells lacking p53 function, TIN2-15C was more potent than TIN2-13 in causing telomere dysfunction and cell death. Our findings suggest that distinct TIN2 complexes exist and that TIN2-15C-sensitive subcomplexes are particularly important for cell survival in the absence of functional p53.
Project description:To prevent ATR activation, telomeres deploy the single-stranded DNA binding activity of TPP1/POT1a. POT1a blocks the binding of RPA to telomeres, suggesting that ATR is repressed through RPA exclusion. However, comparison of the DNA binding affinities and abundance of TPP1/POT1a and RPA indicates that TPP1/POT1a by itself is unlikely to exclude RPA. We therefore analyzed the central shelterin protein TIN2, which links TPP1/POT1a (and POT1b) to TRF1 and TRF2 on the double-stranded telomeric DNA. Upon TIN2 deletion, telomeres lost TPP1/POT1a, accumulated RPA, elicited an ATR signal, and showed all other phenotypes of POT1a/b deletion. TIN2 also affected the TRF2-dependent repression of ATM kinase signaling but not to TRF2-mediated inhibition of telomere fusions. Thus, while TIN2 has a minor contribution to the repression of ATM by TRF2, its major role is to stabilize TPP1/POT1a on the ss telomeric DNA, thereby allowing effective exclusion of RPA and repression of ATR signaling.
Project description:TIN2 is central to the shelterin complex, linking the telomeric proteins TRF1 and TRF2 with TPP1/POT1. Mutations in TINF2, which encodes TIN2, that are found in dyskeratosis congenita (DC) result in very short telomeres and cluster in a region shared by the two TIN2 isoforms, TIN2S (short) and TIN2L (long). Here we show that TIN2L, but not TIN2S, is phosphorylated. TRF2 interacts more with TIN2L than TIN2S, and both the DC cluster and phosphorylation promote this enhanced interaction. The binding of TIN2L, but not TIN2S, is affected by TRF2-F120, which is also required for TRF2's interaction with end processing factors such as Apollo. Conversely, TRF1 interacts more with TIN2S than with TIN2L. A DC-associated mutation further reduces TIN2L-TRF1, but not TIN2S-TRF1, interaction. Cells overexpressing TIN2L or phosphomimetic TIN2L are permissive to telomere elongation, whereas cells overexpressing TIN2S or phosphodead TIN2L are not. Telomere lengths are unchanged in cell lines in which TIN2L expression has been eliminated by clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/Cas9-mediated mutation. These results indicate that TIN2 isoforms are biochemically and functionally distinguishable and that shelterin composition could be fundamentally altered in patients with TINF2 mutations.
Project description:Telomeres are specialized heterochromatin at the ends of linear chromosomes. Telomeres are crucial for maintaining genome stability and play important roles in cellular senescence and tumor biology. Six core proteins-TRF1, TRF2, TIN2, POT1, TPP1 and Rap1 (termed the telosome or shelterin complex)-regulate telomere structure and function. One of these proteins, TIN2, regulates telomere length and structure indirectly by interacting with TRF1, TRF2 and TPP1, but no direct function has been attributed to TIN2. Here we present evidence for a TIN2 isoform (TIN2L) that differs from the originally described TIN2 isoform (TIN2S) in two ways: TIN2L contains an additional 97 amino acids, and TIN2L associates strongly with the nuclear matrix. Stringent salt and detergent conditions failed to extract TIN2L from the nuclear matrix, despite removing other telomere components, including TIN2S. In human mammary epithelial cells, each isoform showed a distinct nuclear distribution both as a function of cell cycle position and telomere length. Our results suggest a dual role for TIN2 in mediating the function of the shelterin complex and tethering telomeres to the nuclear matrix.
Project description:Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes which protect the ends of linear chromosomes from detection as DNA damage and provide a sequence buffer against replication-associated shortening. In mammals, telomeres consist of repetitive DNA sequence (TTAGGG) and associated proteins. The telomeric core complex is called shelterin and is comprised of the proteins TRF1, TRF2, POT1, TIN2, TPP1 and RAP1. Excessive telomere shortening or de-protection of telomeres through the loss of shelterin subunits allows the detection of telomeres as DNA damage, which can be visualized as DNA damage protein foci at chromosome ends called TIF (Telomere Dysfunction-Induced Foci). We sought to exploit the TIF phenotype as marker for telomere dysfunction to identify novel genes involved in telomere protection by siRNA-mediated knock-down of a set of 386 candidates. Here we report the establishment, specificity and feasibility of such a screen and the results of the genes tested. Only one of the candidate genes showed a unique TIF phenotype comparable to the suppression of the main shelterin components TRF2 or TRF1 and that gene was identified as a TRF1-like pseudogene. We also identified a weak TIF phenotype for SKIIP (SNW1), a splicing factor and transcriptional co-activator. However, the knock-down of SKIIP also induced a general, not telomere-specific DNA damage response, which complicates conclusions about a telomeric role. In summary, this report is a technical demonstration of the feasibility of a cell-based screen for telomere deprotection with the potential of scaling it to a high-throughput approach.
Project description:Telomeres are protected by shelterin, a six-subunit protein complex that represses the DNA damage response (DDR) at chromosome ends. Extensive data suggest that TRF2 in shelterin remodels telomeres into the t-loop structure, thereby hiding telomere ends from double-stranded break repair and ATM signaling, whereas POT1 represses ATR signaling by excluding RPA. An alternative protection mechanism was suggested recently by which shelterin subunits TRF1, TRF2, and TIN2 mediate telomeric chromatin compaction, which was proposed to minimize access of DDR factors. We performed superresolution imaging of telomeres in mouse cells after conditional deletion of TRF1, TRF2, or both, the latter of which results in the complete loss of shelterin. Upon removal of TRF1 or TRF2, we observed only minor changes in the telomere volume in most of our experiments. Upon codeletion of TRF1 and TRF2, the telomere volume increased by varying amounts, but even those samples exhibiting small changes in telomere volume showed DDR at nearly all telomeres. Upon shelterin removal, telomeres underwent 53BP1-dependent clustering, potentially explaining at least in part the apparent increase in telomere volume. Furthermore, chromatin accessibility, as determined by ATAC-seq (assay for transposase-accessible chromatin [ATAC] with high-throughput sequencing), was not substantially altered by shelterin removal. These results suggest that the DDR induced by shelterin removal does not require substantial telomere decompaction.