Shelterin-like proteins and Yku inhibit nucleolytic processing of Saccharomyces cerevisiae telomeres.
ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic cells distinguish their chromosome ends from accidental DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by packaging them into protective structures called telomeres that prevent DNA repair/recombination activities. Here we investigate the role of key telomeric proteins in protecting budding yeast telomeres from degradation. We show that the Saccharomyces cerevisiae shelterin-like proteins Rif1, Rif2, and Rap1 inhibit nucleolytic processing at both de novo and native telomeres during G1 and G2 cell cycle phases, with Rif2 and Rap1 showing the strongest effects. Also Yku prevents telomere resection in G1, independently of its role in non-homologous end joining. Yku and the shelterin-like proteins have additive effects in inhibiting DNA degradation at G1 de novo telomeres, where Yku plays the major role in preventing initiation, whereas Rif1, Rif2, and Rap1 act primarily by limiting extensive resection. In fact, exonucleolytic degradation of a de novo telomere is more efficient in yku70Delta than in rif2Delta G1 cells, but generation of ssDNA in Yku-lacking cells is limited to DNA regions close to the telomere tip. This limited processing is due to the inhibitory action of Rap1, Rif1, and Rif2, as their inactivation allows extensive telomere resection not only in wild-type but also in yku70Delta G1 cells. Finally, Rap1 and Rif2 prevent telomere degradation by inhibiting MRX access to telomeres, which are also protected from the Exo1 nuclease by Yku. Thus, chromosome end degradation is controlled by telomeric proteins that specifically inhibit the action of different nucleases.
Project description:Telomere integrity in budding yeast depends on the CST (Cdc13-Stn1-Ten1) and shelterin-like (Rap1-Rif1-Rif2) complexes, which are thought to act independently from each other. Here we show that a specific functional interaction indeed exists among components of the two complexes. In particular, unlike RIF2 deletion, the lack of Rif1 is lethal for stn1?C cells and causes a dramatic reduction in viability of cdc13-1 and cdc13-5 mutants. This synthetic interaction between Rif1 and the CST complex occurs independently of rif1?-induced alterations in telomere length. Both cdc13-1 rif1? and cdc13-5 rif1? cells display very high amounts of telomeric single-stranded DNA and DNA damage checkpoint activation, indicating that severe defects in telomere integrity cause their loss of viability. In agreement with this hypothesis, both DNA damage checkpoint activation and lethality in cdc13 rif1? cells are partially counteracted by the lack of the Exo1 nuclease, which is involved in telomeric single-stranded DNA generation. The functional interaction between Rif1 and the CST complex is specific, because RIF1 deletion does not enhance checkpoint activation in case of CST-independent telomere capping deficiencies, such as those caused by the absence of Yku or telomerase. Thus, these data highlight a novel role for Rif1 in assisting the essential telomere protection function of the CST complex.
Project description:Telomeres, the ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes, have a specialized chromatin structure that provides a stable chromosomal terminus. In budding yeast Rap1 protein binds to telomeric TG repeat and negatively regulates telomere length. Here we show that binding of multiple Rap1 proteins stimulates DNA double-stranded break (DSB) induction at both telomeric and non-telomeric regions. Consistent with the role of DSB induction, Rap1 stimulates nearby recombination events in a dosage-dependent manner. Rap1 recruits Rif1 and Rif2 to telomeres, but neither Rif1 nor Rif2 is required for DSB induction. Rap1-mediated DSB induction involves replication fork progression but inactivation of checkpoint kinase Mec1 does not affect DSB induction. Rap1 tethering shortens artificially elongated telomeres in parallel with telomerase inhibition, and this telomere shortening does not require homologous recombination. These results suggest that Rap1 contributes to telomere homeostasis by promoting chromosome breakage.
Project description:Telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) has been implicated in the control of heterochromatin and telomerase. We demonstrate that yeast TERRA is regulated by telomere-binding proteins in a chromosome-end-specific manner that is dependent on subtelomeric repetitive DNA elements. At telomeres that contain only X-elements, the Rap1 carboxy-terminal domain recruits the Sir2/3/4 and Rif1/2 complexes to repress transcription in addition to promoting Rat1-nuclease-dependent TERRA degradation. At telomeres that contain Y' elements, however, Rap1 represses TERRA through recruitment of Rif1 and Rif2. Our work emphasizes the importance of subtelomeric DNA in the control of telomeric protein composition and telomere transcription.
Project description:The yeast Rap1 protein plays an important role in transcriptional silencing and in telomere length homeostasis. Rap1 mediates silencing at the HM loci and at telomeres by recruiting the Sir3 and Sir4 proteins to chromatin via a Rap1 C-terminal domain, which also recruits the telomere length regulators, Rif1 and Rif2. We report the 1.85 A resolution crystal structure of the Rap1 C-terminus, which adopts an all-helical fold with no structural homologues. The structure was used to engineer surface mutations in Rap1, and the effects of these mutations on silencing and telomere length regulation were assayed in vivo. Our surprising finding was that there is no overlap between mutations affecting mating-type and telomeric silencing, suggesting that Rap1 plays distinct roles in silencing at the silent mating-type loci and telomeres. We also found novel Rap1 phenotypes and new separation-of-function mutants, which provide new tools for studying Rap1 function. Yeast two-hybrid studies were used to determine how specific mutations affect recruitment of Sir3, Rif1, and Rif2. A comparison of the yeast two-hybrid and functional data reveals patterns of protein interactions that correlate with each Rap1 phenotype. We find that Sir3 interactions are important for telomeric silencing, but not mating type silencing, and that Rif1 and Rif2 interactions are important in different subsets of telomeric length mutants. Our results show that the role of Rap1 in silencing differs between the HM loci and the telomeres and offer insight into the interplay between HM silencing, telomeric silencing, and telomere length regulation. These findings suggest a model in which competition and multiple recruitment events modulate silencing and telomere length regulation.
Project description:Chromosome ends, known as telomeres, have to be distinguished from DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) that activate the DNA-damage checkpoint. In budding yeast, the ATM homolog Tel1 associates preferentially with short telomeres and promotes telomere addition. Here, we show that the telomeric proteins Rif1 and Rif2 attenuate Tel1 recruitment to DNA ends through distinct mechanisms. Both Rif1 and Rif2 inhibit the localization of Tel1, but not the Mre11-Rad50-Xrs2 (MRX) complex, to adjacent DNA ends. Rif1 function is weaker at short telomeric repeats compared with Rif2 function and is partly dependent on Rif2. Rif2 competes with Tel1 for binding to the C terminus of Xrs2. Once Tel1 is delocalized, MRX does not associate efficiently with Rap1-covered DNA ends. These results reveal a mechanism by which telomeric DNA sequences mask DNA ends from Tel1 recognition for the regulation of telomere length.
Project description:The assembly of a protective cap onto the telomeres of eukaryotic chromosomes suppresses genomic instability through inhibition of DNA repair activities that normally process accidental DNA breaks. We show here that the essential Cdc13-Stn1-Ten1 complex is entirely dispensable for telomere protection in non-dividing cells. However, Yku and Rap1 become crucially important for this function in these cells. After inactivation of Yku70 in G1-arrested cells, moderate but significant telomere degradation occurs. As the activity of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) promotes degradation, these results suggest that Yku stabilizes G1 telomeres by blocking the access of CDK1-independent nucleases to telomeres. The results indeed show that both Exo1 and the Mre11/Rad50/Xrs2 complex are required for telomeric resection after Yku loss in non-dividing cells. Unexpectedly, both asynchronously growing and quiescent G0 cells lacking Rap1 display readily detectable telomere degradation, suggesting an earlier unanticipated function for this protein in suppression of nuclease activities at telomeres. Together, our results show a high flexibility of the telomeric cap and suggest that distinct configurations may provide for efficient capping in dividing versus non-dividing cells.
Project description:Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are proposed to play a major role in telomere length alterations during aging. The mechanisms by which ROS disrupt telomeres remain unclear. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, telomere DNA consists of TG(1-3) repeats, which are maintained primarily by telomerase. Telomere length maintenance can be modulated by the expression level of telomerase subunits and telomerase activity. Additionally, telomerase-mediated telomere repeat addition is negatively modulated by the levels of telomere-bound Rap1-Rif1-Rif2 protein complex. Using a yeast strain defective in the major peroxiredoxin Tsa1 that is involved in ROS neutralization, we have investigated the effect of defective ROS detoxification on telomere DNA, telomerase, telomere-binding proteins, and telomere length. Surprisingly, the tsa1 mutant does not show significant increase in steady-state levels of oxidative DNA lesions at telomeres. The tsa1 mutant displays abnormal telomere lengthening, and reduction in oxidative exposure alleviates this phenotype. The telomere lengthening in the tsa1 cells was abolished by disruption of Est2, subtelomeric DNA, Rap1 C-terminus, or Rif2, but not by Rif1 deletion. Although telomerase expression and activity are not altered, telomere-bound Est2 is increased, while telomere-bound Rap1 is reduced in the tsa1 mutant. We propose that defective ROS scavenging can interfere with pathways that are critical in controlling telomere length homeostasis.
Project description:Chromosome ends, known as telomeres, have to be distinguished from DNA double-strand breaks that activate DNA damage checkpoints. In budding yeast, the Mre11-Rad50-Xrs2 (MRX) complex associates with DNA ends and promotes checkpoint activation. Rap1 binds to double-stranded telomeric regions and recruits Rif1 and Rif2 to telomeres. Rap1 collaborates with Rif1 and Rif2 and inhibits MRX localization to DNA ends. This Rap1-Rif1-Rif2 function becomes attenuated at shortened telomeres. Here we show that Rap1 acts together with the subtelomere-binding protein Tbf1 and inhibits MRX localization to DNA ends. The placement of a subtelomeric sequence or TTAGGG repeats together with a short telomeric TG repeat sequence inhibits MRX accumulation at nearby DNA ends in a Tbf1-dependent manner. Moreover, tethering of both Tbf1 and Rap1 proteins decreases MRX and Tel1 accumulation at nearby DNA ends. This Tbf1- and Rap1-dependent pathway operates independently of Rif1 or Rif2 function. Depletion of Tbf1 protein stimulates checkpoint activation in cells containing short telomeres but not in cells containing normal-length telomeres. These data support a model in which Tbf1 and Rap1 collaborate to maintain genomic stability of short telomeres.
Project description:Telomeres, the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, consist of repetitive DNA sequences and their bound proteins that protect the end from the DNA damage response. Short telomeres with fewer repeats are preferentially elongated by telomerase. Tel1, the yeast homolog of human ATM kinase, is preferentially recruited to short telomeres and Tel1 kinase activity is required for telomere elongation. Rif1, a telomere-binding protein, negatively regulates telomere length by forming a complex with two other telomere binding proteins, Rap1 and Rif2, to block telomerase recruitment. Rif1 has 14 SQ/TQ consensus phosphorylation sites for ATM kinases, including 6 in a SQ/TQ Cluster Domain (SCD) similar to other DNA damage response proteins. These 14 sites were analyzed as N-terminal, SCD and C-terminal domains. Mutating some sites to non-phosphorylatable residues increased telomere length in cells lacking Tel1 while a different set of phosphomimetic mutants increased telomere length in cells lacking Rif2, suggesting that Rif1 phosphorylation has both positive and negative effects on length regulation. While these mutations did not alter the sensitivity to DNA damaging agents, inducing telomere-specific damage by growing cells lacking YKU70 at high temperature revealed a role for the SCD. Mass spectrometry of Rif1 from wild type cells or those induced for telomere-specific DNA damage revealed increased phosphorylation in cells with telomere damage at an ATM consensus site in the SCD, S1351, and non-ATM sites S181 and S1637. A phosphomimetic rif1-S1351E mutation caused an increase in telomere length at synthetic telomeres but not natural telomeres. These results indicate that the Rif1 SCD can modulate Rif1 function. As all Rif1 orthologs have one or more SCD domains, these results for yeast Rif1 have implications for the regulation of Rif1 function in humans and other organisms.
Project description:The ends of both double-strand breaks (DSBs) and telomeres undergo tightly regulated 5' to 3' resection. Resection of DNA ends, which is specifically inhibited during the G1 cell cycle phase, requires the MRX complex, Sae2, Sgs1 and Exo1. Moreover, it is negatively regulated by the non-homologous end-joining component Yku and the telomeric protein Rif2. Here, we investigate the nuclease activities that are inhibited at DNA ends by Rif2 and Yku in G1 versus G2 by using an inducible short telomere assay. We show that, in the absence of the protective function of Rif2, resection in G1 depends primarily on MRX nuclease activity and Sae2, whereas Exo1 and Sgs1 bypass the requirement of MRX nuclease activity only if Yku is absent. In contrast, Yku-mediated inhibition is relieved in G2, where resection depends on Mre11 nuclease activity, Exo1 and, to a minor extent, Sgs1. Furthermore, Exo1 compensates for a defective MRX nuclease activity more efficiently in the absence than in the presence of Rif2, suggesting that Rif2 inhibits not only MRX but also Exo1. Notably, the presence of MRX, but not its nuclease activity, is required and sufficient to override Yku-mediated inhibition of Exo1 in G2, whereas it is required but not sufficient in G1. Finally, the integrity of MRX is also necessary to promote Exo1- and Sgs1-dependent resection, possibly by facilitating Exo1 and Sgs1 recruitment to DNA ends. Thus, resection of DNA ends that are protected by Yku and Rif2 involves multiple functions of the MRX complex that do not necessarily require its nuclease activity.