Dynamic Interactions of Arabidopsis TEN1: Stabilizing Telomeres in Response to Heat Stress
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Telomeres are the essential nucleoprotein structures that provide a physical cap for the ends of linear chromosomes. The highly conserved CST (CTC1/STN1/TEN1) protein complex facilitates telomeric DNA replication and promotes telomere stability. Here we report three unexpected properties of Arabidopsis thaliana TEN1 that indicate it possesses functions distinct from other previously characterized telomere proteins. First, we show that telomeres in ten1 mutants are highly sensitive to thermal stress. Heat shock causes abrupt and dramatic loss of telomeric DNA in ten1 plants, likely via deletional recombination. Second, we show that AtTEN1 has the properties of a heat-shock induced molecular chaperone. At elevated temperature, AtTEN1 rapidly assembles into high molecular weight homo-oligomeric complexes that efficiently suppress heat-induced aggregation of model protein substrates in vitro. Finally, we report that AtTEN1 specifically protects CTC1 from heat-induced aggregation in vitro, and from heat-induced protein degradation and loss of telomere association in vivo. Collectively, these observations define Arabidopsis TEN1 as a highly dynamic protein that works in concert with CTC1 to preserve telomere integrity in response to environmental stress.
author list (cited authors)
Lee, J. R., Xie, X., Yang, K., Zhang, J., Lee, S. Y., & Shippen, D. E.