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Title: Structural conservation in the template/pseudoknot domain of vertebrate telomerase RNA from teleost fish to human

Telomerase is an RNA–protein complex that includes a unique reverse transcriptase that catalyzes the addition of single-stranded telomere DNA repeats onto the 3' ends of linear chromosomes using an integral telomerase RNA (TR) template. Vertebrate TR contains the template/pseudoknot (t/PK) and CR4/5 domains required for telomerase activity in vitro. All vertebrate pseudoknots include two subdomains: P2ab (helices P2a and P2b with a 5/6-nt internal loop) and the minimal pseudoknot (P2b–P3 and associated loops). A helical extension of P2a, P2a.1, is specific to mammalian TR. In this paper, using NMR, we investigated the structures of the full-length TR pseudoknot and isolated subdomains in Oryzias latipes (Japanese medaka fish), which has the smallest vertebrate TR identified to date. We determined the solution NMR structure and studied the dynamics of medaka P2ab, and identified all base pairs and tertiary interactions in the minimal pseudoknot. Despite differences in length and sequence, the structure of medaka P2ab is more similar to human P2ab than predicted, and the medaka minimal pseudoknot has the same tertiary interactions as the human pseudoknot. Significantly, although P2a.1 is not predicted to form in teleost fish, we find that it forms in the full-length pseudoknot via an unexpected hairpin. Model structuresmore » of the subdomains are combined to generate a model of t/PK. These results provide evidence that the architecture for the vertebrate t/PK is conserved from teleost fish to human. Finally, the organization of the t/PK on telomerase reverse transcriptase for medaka and human is modeled based on the cryoEM structure of Tetrahymena telomerase, providing insight into function.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4]
  1. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States). Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  2. Stanford Univ., CA (United States). Biochemistry Dept.
  3. Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (United States). Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics
  4. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States). Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry. UCLA-DOE Inst. for Genomics and Proteomics
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FC03-02ER63421; GM48123; GM112503; GM112294; MCB1517625
Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 113; Journal Issue: 35; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Research Org:
Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States); Stanford Univ., CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; National Inst. of Health (NIH) (United States); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1470062