TERRA mimicking ssRNAs prevail over the DNA substrate for telomerase in vitro due to interactions with the alternative binding site

Dulat Azhibek, Dmitry Skvortsov, Anna Andreeva, Timofei Zatsepin, Alexandr Arutyunyan, Maria Zvereva, Olga Dontsova

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Telomerase is a key component of the telomere length maintenance system in the majority of eukaryotes. Telomerase displays maximal activity in stem and cancer cells with high proliferative potential. In humans, telomerase activity is regulated by various mechanisms, including the interaction with telomere ssDNA overhangs that contain a repetitive G-rich sequence, and with noncoding RNA, Telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA), that contains the same sequence. So these nucleic acids can compete for telomerase RNA templates in the cell. In this study, we have investigated the ability of different model substrates mimicking telomere DNA overhangs and TERRA RNA to compete for telomerase in vitro through a previously developed telomerase inhibitor assay. We have shown in this study that RNA oligonucleotides are better competitors for telomerase that DNA ones as RNA also use an alternative binding site on telomerase, and the presence of 2′-OH groups is significant in these interactions. In contrast to DNA, the possibility of forming intramolecular G-quadruplex structures has a minor effect for RNA binding to telomerase. Taking together our data, we propose that TERRA RNA binds better to telomerase compared with its native substrate - the 3′-end of telomere DNA overhang. As a result, some specific factor may exist that participates in switching telomerase from TERRA to the 3′-end of DNA for telomere elongation at the distinct period of a cell cycle in vivo.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)242-247
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Molecular Recognition
    Volume29
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

    Keywords

    • DNA
    • oligonucleotide
    • telomerase
    • TERRA RNA

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