A Protein-Counting Mechanism for Telomere Length Regulation in Yeast

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Science  14 Feb 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5302, pp. 986-990
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5302.986

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In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, telomere elongation is negatively regulated by the telomere repeat-binding protein Rap1p, such that a narrow length distribution of telomere repeat tracts is observed. This length regulation was shown to function independently of the orientation of the telomere repeats. The number of repeats at an individual telomere was reduced when hybrid proteins containing the Rap1p carboxyl terminus were targeted there by a heterologous DNA-binding domain. The extent of this telomere tract shortening was proportional to the number of targeted molecules, consistent with a feedback mechanism of telomere length regulation that can discriminate the precise number of Rap1p molecules bound to the chromosome end.

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