Structure of Dictyostelium discoideum telomeres. Analysis of possible replication mechanisms

Autoři: Javier Rodriguez-Centeno aff001;  Cristina Manguán-García aff001;  Rosario Perona aff001;  Leandro Sastre aff001
Působiště autorů: Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas CSIC/UAM, C/ Arturo Duperier, IdiPaz, C/Pedro Rico, Madrid, Spain aff001;  CIBER de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Madrid, Spain aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(9)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0222909


Telomeres are nucleo-protein structures that protect the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. They are not completely synthesized during DNA replication and are elongated by specific mechanisms. The structure of the telomeres and the elongation mechanism have not been determined in Dictyostelium discoideum. This organism presents extrachromosomal palindromic elements containing two copies of the rDNA, also present at the end of the chromosomes. In this article the structure of the terminal region of the rDNA is shown to consist of repetitions of the A(G)n sequence where the number of Gs is variable. These repeats extend as a 3’ single stranded region. The G-rich region is preceded by four tandem repetitions of two different DNA motifs. D. discoideum telomere reverse transcriptase homologous protein (TERTHP) presented RNase-sensitive enzymatic activity and was required to maintain telomere structure since terthp-mutant strains presented reorganizations of the DNA terminal regions. These modifications were different in several terthp-mutants and changed with their prolonged culture and subcloning. However, the terthp gene is not essential for D. discoideum proliferation. Telomeres could be maintained in terthp-mutant strains by homologous recombination mechanisms such as ALT (Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres) or HAATI (heterochromatin amplification-mediated and telomerase-independent). In agreement with this hypothesis, the expression of mRNAs coding for several proteins involved in homologous recombination was induced in terthp-mutant strains. Extrachromosomal rDNA could serve as substrate in these DNA homologous recombination reactions.

Klíčová slova:

DNA sequence analysis – Polymerase chain reaction – Sequence motif analysis – Telomeres – Dictyostelium discoideum – Repeated sequences – Mutant strains – Nucleotide sequencing


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