, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 1033-1050,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 11 Dec 2007

Localization of telomeres and telomere-associated proteins in telomerase-negative Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Abstract

Cells lacking telomerase cannot maintain their telomeres and undergo a telomere erosion phase leading to senescence and crisis in which most cells become nonviable. On rare occasions survivors emerge from these cultures that maintain their telomeres in alternative ways. The movement of five marked telomeres in Saccharomyces cerevisiae was followed in wild-type cells and through erosion, senescence/crisis and eventual survival in telomerase-negative (est2::HYG) yeast cells. It was found that during erosion, movements of telomeres in est2::HYG cells were indistinguishable from wild-type telomere movements. At senescence/crisis, however, most cells were in G2 arrest and the nucleus and telomeres traversed back and forth across the bud neck, presumably until cell death. Type I survivors, using subtelomeric Y′ amplification for telomere maintenance, continued to show this aberrant telomere movement. However, Type II survivors, maintaining telomeres by a sudden elongation of the telomere repeats, became indistinguishable from wild-type cells, consistent with growth properties of the two types of survivors. When telomere-associated proteins Sir2p, Sir3p and Rap1p were tagged, the same general trend was seen—Type I survivors retained the senescence/crisis state of protein localization, while Type II survivors were restored to wild type.