Role of STN1 and DNA polymerase ? in telomere stability and genome-wide replication in Arabidopsis.
ABSTRACT: The CST (Cdc13/CTC1-STN1-TEN1) complex was proposed to have evolved kingdom specific roles in telomere capping and replication. To shed light on its evolutionary conserved function, we examined the effect of STN1 dysfunction on telomere structure in plants. STN1 inactivation in Arabidopsis leads to a progressive loss of telomeric DNA and the onset of telomeric defects depends on the initial telomere size. While EXO1 aggravates defects associated with STN1 dysfunction, it does not contribute to the formation of long G-overhangs. Instead, these G-overhangs arise, at least partially, from telomerase-mediated telomere extension indicating a deficiency in C-strand fill-in synthesis. Analysis of hypomorphic DNA polymerase ? mutants revealed that the impaired function of a general replication factor mimics the telomeric defects associated with CST dysfunction. Furthermore, we show that STN1-deficiency hinders re-replication of heterochromatic regions to a similar extent as polymerase ? mutations. This comparative analysis of stn1 and pol ? mutants suggests that STN1 plays a genome-wide role in DNA replication and that chromosome-end deprotection in stn1 mutants may represent a manifestation of aberrant replication through telomeres.
Project description:Orthologs of the yeast telomere protein Stn1 are present in plants, but other components of the Cdc13/Stn1/Ten1 (CST) complex have only been found in fungi. Here we report the identification of conserved telomere maintenance component 1 (CTC1) in plants and vertebrates. CTC1 encodes an approximately 140 kDa telomere-associated protein predicted to contain multiple OB-fold domains. Arabidopsis mutants null for CTC1 display a severe telomere deprotection phenotype accompanied by a rapid onset of developmental defects and sterility. Telomeric and subtelomeric tracts are dramatically eroded, and chromosome ends exhibit increased G overhangs, recombination, and end-to-end fusions. AtCTC1 both physically and genetically interacts with AtSTN1. Depletion of human CTC1 by RNAi triggers a DNA damage response, chromatin bridges, increased G overhangs, and sporadic telomere loss. These data indicate that CTC1 participates in telomere maintenance in diverse species and that a CST-like complex is required for telomere integrity in multicellular organisms.
Project description:Disruption of telomere maintenance pathways leads to accelerated entry into cellular senescence, a stable proliferative arrest that promotes aging-associated disorders in some mammals. The budding yeast CST complex, comprising Cdc13, Stn1, and Ctc1, is critical for telomere replication, length regulation, and end protection. Although mammalian homologues of CST have been identified recently, their role and function for telomere maintenance in normal somatic human cells are still incompletely understood. Here, we characterize the function of human Stn1 in cultured human fibroblasts and demonstrate its critical role in telomere replication, length regulation, and function. In the absence of high telomerase activity, shRNA-mediated knockdown of hStn1 resulted in aberrant and fragile telomeric structures, stochastic telomere attrition, increased telomere erosion rates, telomere dysfunction, and consequently accelerated entry into cellular senescence. Oxidative stress augmented the defects caused by Stn1 knockdown leading to almost immediate cessation of cell proliferation. In contrast, overexpression of hTERT suppressed some of the defects caused by hStn1 knockdown suggesting that telomerase can partially compensate for hStn1 loss. Our findings reveal a critical role for human Stn1 in telomere length maintenance and function, supporting the model that efficient replication of telomeric repeats is critical for long-term viability of normal somatic mammalian cells.
Project description:The identification of the human homologue of the yeast CST in 2009 posed a new challenge in our understanding of the mechanism of telomere capping in higher eukaryotes. The high-resolution structure of the human Stn1-Ten1 (hStn1-Ten1) complex presented here reveals that hStn1 consists of an OB domain and tandem C-terminal wHTH motifs, while hTen1 consists of a single OB fold. Contacts between the OB domains facilitate formation of a complex that is strikingly similar to the replication protein A (RPA) and yeast Stn1-Ten1 (Ten1) complexes. The hStn1-Ten1 complex exhibits non-specific single-stranded DNA activity that is primarily dependent on hStn1. Cells expressing hStn1 mutants defective for dimerization with hTen1 display elongated telomeres and telomere defects associated with telomere uncapping, suggesting that the telomeric function of hCST is hTen1 dependent. Taken together the data presented here show that the structure of the hStn1-Ten1 subcomplex is conserved across species. Cell based assays indicate that hTen1 is critical for the telomeric function of hCST, both in telomere protection and downregulation of telomerase function.
Project description:Telomerase elongates the telomeric G-strand to prevent telomere shortening through conventional DNA replication. However, synthesis of the complementary C-strand by DNA polymerase ? is also required to maintain telomere length. Polymerase ? cannot perform this role without the ssDNA binding complex CST (CTC1-STN1-TEN1). Here we describe the roles of individual CST subunits in telomerase regulation and G-overhang maturation in human colon cancer cells. We show that CTC1-STN1 limits telomerase action to prevent G-overhang overextension. CTC1-/- cells exhibit telomeric DNA damage and growth arrest due to overhang elongation whereas TEN1-/- cells do not. However, TEN1 is essential for C-strand synthesis and TEN1-/- cells exhibit progressive telomere shortening. DNA binding analysis indicates that CTC1-STN1 retains affinity for ssDNA but TEN1 stabilizes binding. We propose CTC1-STN1 binding is sufficient to terminate telomerase action but altered DNA binding dynamics renders CTC1-STN1 unable to properly engage polymerase ? on the overhang for C-strand synthesis.
Project description:In budding yeast, Cdc13, Stn1, and Ten1 form a heterotrimeric complex (CST) that is essential for telomere protection and maintenance. Previous bioinformatics analysis revealed a putative oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding (OB) fold at the N terminus of Stn1 (Stn1N) that shows limited sequence similarity to the OB fold of Rpa2, a subunit of the eukaryotic ssDNA-binding protein complex replication protein A (RPA). Here we present functional and structural analyses of Stn1 and Ten1 from multiple budding and fission yeast. The crystal structure of the Candida tropicalis Stn1N complexed with Ten1 demonstrates an Rpa2N-Rpa3-like complex. In both structures, the OB folds of the two components pack against each other through interactions between two C-terminal helices. The structure of the C-terminal domain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Stn1 (Stn1C) was found to comprise two related winged helix-turn-helix (WH) motifs, one of which is most similar to the WH motif at the C terminus of Rpa2, again supporting the notion that Stn1 resembles Rpa2. The crystal structure of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe Stn1N-Ten1 complex exhibits a virtually identical architecture as the C. tropicalis Stn1N-Ten1. Functional analyses of the Candida albicans Stn1 and Ten1 proteins revealed critical roles for these proteins in suppressing aberrant telomerase and recombination activities at telomeres. Mutations that disrupt the Stn1-Ten1 interaction induce telomere uncapping and abolish the telomere localization of Ten1. Collectively, our structural and functional studies illustrate that, instead of being confined to budding yeast telomeres, the CST complex may represent an evolutionarily conserved RPA-like telomeric complex at the 3' overhangs that works in parallel with or instead of the well-characterized POT1-TPP1/TEBPalpha-beta complex.
Project description:Mammalian CST (CTC1-STN1-TEN1) associates with telomeres and depletion of CTC1 or STN1 causes telomere defects. However, the function of mammalian CST remains poorly understood. We show here that depletion of CST subunits leads to both telomeric and non-telomeric phenotypes associated with DNA replication defects. Stable knockdown of CTC1 or STN1 increases the incidence of anaphase bridges and multi-telomeric signals, indicating genomic and telomeric instability. STN1 knockdown also delays replication through the telomere indicating a role in replication fork passage through this natural barrier. Furthermore, we find that STN1 plays a novel role in genome-wide replication restart after hydroxyurea (HU)-induced replication fork stalling. STN1 depletion leads to reduced EdU incorporation after HU release. However, most forks rapidly resume replication, indicating replisome integrity is largely intact and STN1 depletion has little effect on fork restart. Instead, STN1 depletion leads to a decrease in new origin firing. Our findings suggest that CST rescues stalled replication forks during conditions of replication stress, such as those found at natural replication barriers, likely by facilitating dormant origin firing.
Project description:Mammalian CST (CTC1-STN1-TEN1) participates in multiple aspects of telomere replication and genome-wide recovery from replication stress. CST resembles Replication Protein A (RPA) in that it binds ssDNA and STN1 and TEN1 are structurally similar to RPA2 and RPA3. Conservation between CTC1 and RPA1 is less apparent. Currently the mechanism underlying CST action is largely unknown. Here we address CST mechanism by using a DNA-binding mutant, (STN1 OB-fold mutant, STN1-OBM) to examine the relationship between DNA binding and CST function. In vivo, STN1-OBM affects resolution of endogenous replication stress and telomere duplex replication but telomeric C-strand fill-in and new origin firing after exogenous replication stress are unaffected. These selective effects indicate mechanistic differences in CST action during resolution of different replication problems. In vitro binding studies show that STN1 directly engages both short and long ssDNA oligonucleotides, however STN1-OBM preferentially destabilizes binding to short substrates. The finding that STN1-OBM affects binding to only certain substrates starts to explain the in vivo separation of function observed in STN1-OBM expressing cells. CST is expected to engage DNA substrates of varied length and structure as it acts to resolve different replication problems. Since STN1-OBM will alter CST binding to only some of these substrates, the mutant should affect resolution of only a subset of replication problems, as was observed in the STN1-OBM cells. The in vitro studies also provide insight into CST binding mechanism. Like RPA, CST likely contacts DNA via multiple OB folds. However, the importance of STN1 for binding short substrates indicates differences in the architecture of CST and RPA DNA-protein complexes. Based on our results, we propose a dynamic DNA binding model that provides a general mechanism for CST action at diverse forms of replication stress.
Project description:The CST complex is a phylogenetically conserved protein complex consisting of CTC1/Cdc13, Stn1 and Ten1 that protects telomeres on linear chromosomes. Deletion of the fission yeast homologs stn1 and ten1 results in complete telomere loss; however, the precise function of Stn1 is still largely unknown. Here, we have isolated a high-temperature sensitive stn1 allele (termed stn1-1). stn1-1 cells abruptly lost telomeric sequence almost completely at the restrictive temperature. The loss of chromosomal DNA happened without gradual telomere shortening, and extended to 30 kb from the ends of chromosomes. We found transient and modest single-stranded G-strand exposure, but did not find any evidence of checkpoint activation in stn1-1 at the restrictive temperature. When we probed neutral-neutral 2D gels for subtelomere regions, we found no Y-arc-shaped replication intermediates in cycling cells. We conclude that the loss of telomere and subtelomere DNAs in stn1-1 cells at the restrictive temperature is caused by very frequent replication fork collapses specifically in subtelomere regions. Furthermore, we identified two independent suppressor mutants of the high-temperature sensitivity of stn1-1: a multi-copy form of pmt3 and a deletion of rif1. Collectively, we propose that fission yeast Stn1 primarily safeguards the semi-conservative DNA replication at telomeres and subtelomeres.
Project description:Elongation of the telomeric overhang by telomerase is counteracted by synthesis of the complementary strand by the CST complex, CTC1(Cdc13)/Stn1/Ten1. Interaction of budding yeast Stn1 with overhang-binding Cdc13 is increased by Cdc13 SUMOylation. Human and fission yeast CST instead interact with overhang-binding TPP1/POT1. We show that the fission yeast TPP1 ortholog, Tpz1, is SUMOylated. Tpz1 SUMOylation restricts telomere elongation and promotes Stn1/Ten1 telomere association, and a SUMO-Tpz1 fusion protein has increased affinity for Stn1. Our data suggest that SUMO inhibits telomerase through stimulation of Stn1/Ten1 action by Tpz1, highlighting the evolutionary conservation of the regulation of CST function by SUMOylation.
Project description:Mammalian CST (CTC1-STN1-TEN1) complex fulfills numerous functions including rescue of the stalled replication forks and termination of telomerase action. In fission yeast lacking the CTC1 ortholog, the Stn1-Ten1 complex restricts telomerase action via its sumoylation-mediated interaction with Tpz1TPP1. We identify a small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO)-interacting motif (SIM) in the carboxyl-terminal part of Stn1 and show that this domain is crucial for SUMO and Tpz1-SUMO interactions. Point mutations in the SIM (Stn1-226) lead to telomere elongation, impair Stn1-Ten1 recruitment to telomeres, and enhance telomerase binding, revealing that Stn1 SIM domain contributes to the inhibition of telomerase activity at chromosome ends. Our results suggest that Stn1-Ten1 promotes DNA synthesis at telomeres to limit single-strand DNA accumulation. We further demonstrate that Stn1 functions in the replication of telomeric and subtelomeric regions in a Taz1-independent manner. Genetic analysis reveals that misregulation of origin firing and/or telomerase inhibition circumvents the replication defects of the stn1-226 mutant. Together, our results show that the Stn1-Ten1 complex has a dual function at telomeres by limiting telomerase action and promoting chromosome end replication.