Telomere length regulation is essential for cell viability in eukaryotes. While many pathways that affect telomere length are known, we do not yet have a complete understanding of the mechanism of length regulation. To identify new pathways that might regulate telomere length, we carried out a genetic screen in yeast and identified the cyclin-dependent kinase complex Bur1/2 as a regulator of telomere length. Mutations in either BUR1 cyclin-dependent kinase or the associated BUR2 cyclin resulted in short telomeres. This regulation did not function through the known role of BUR1 in regulating histone modification as bur1∆ set2∆ and bur2∆ set2∆ double mutants rescued cell growth but did not rescue the telomere shortening effects. We found that both bur1∆ and bur2∆ set2∆ were also defective in de novo telomere addition, and deletion of SET2 did also not rescue this elongation defect. The Bur1/2 cyclin-dependent kinase regulates transcription of many genes. We found that TLC1 RNA levels were reduced in bur2∆ set2∆ mutants; however, overexpression of TLC1 restored the transcript levels but did not restore de novo telomere elongation or telomere length. These data suggest that the Bur1/2 kinase plays a role in telomere elongation separate from its role in transcription of telomerase components. Dissecting the role of the Bur1/2 kinase pathway at telomeres will help complete our understanding of the complex network of telomere length regulation.
- telomere length equilibrium
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology