Budding yeast Rap1, but not telomeric DNA, is inhibitory for multiple stages of DNA replication in vitro

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Telomeres are copied and reassembled each cell division cycle through a multistep process called telomere replication. Most telomeric DNA is duplicated semiconservatively during this process, but replication forks frequently pause or stall at telomeres in yeast, mouse and human cells, potentially causing chronic telomere shortening or loss in a single cell cycle. We have investigated the cause of this effect by examining the replication of telomeric templates in vitro. Using a reconstituted assay for eukaryotic DNA replication in which a complete eukaryotic replisome is assembled and activated with purified proteins, we show that budding yeast telomeric DNA is efficiently duplicated in vitro unless the telomere binding protein Rap1 is present. Rap1 acts as a roadblock that prevents replisome progression and leading strand synthesis, but also potently inhibits lagging strand telomere replication behind the fork. Both defects can be mitigated by the Pif1 helicase. Our results suggest that GC-rich sequences do not inhibit DNA replication per se, and that in the absence of accessory factors, telomere binding proteins can inhibit multiple, distinct steps in the replication process.

Journal details

Volume 49
Issue number 10
Pages 5671-5683
Available online
Publication date