Boundary elements of the Tetrahymena telomerase RNA template and alignment domains

Chantal Autexier, Carol W. Greider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Telomerase is a DNA polymerase fundamental to the replication and maintenance of telomere sequences at chromosome ends. The RNA component of telomerase is essential for the synthesis of telomere repeats. In vitro, the template domain (5′-CAACCCCAA-3′) of the Tetrahymena telomerase RNA dictates the addition of Tetrahymena-specific telomere repeats d(TTGGGG)n, onto the 3′ end of G-rich or telomeric substrates that are base-paired with the template and alignment regions of the RNA. Using a reconstituted in vitro system, we determined that altering the sequence of the alignment and template domains affects processivity of telomerase without abolishing telomerase activity. These results suggest that alternative template/alignment regions may be functional. In the ciliate telomerase RNAs, there is a conserved sequence 5′-(CU)GUCA-3′, located two residues upstream of the template domain. The location and sequence of this conserved domain defined the 5′ boundary of the template region. These data provide insights into the regulation of telomere synthesis by telomerase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2227-2239
Number of pages13
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 15 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Polymerase
  • Ribonucleoprotein
  • Telomerase
  • Telomere
  • Tetrahymena

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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