Subtelomeric repetitive elements determine TERRA regulation by Rap1/Rif and Rap1/Sir complexes in yeast

EMBO Rep. 2011 Jun;12(6):587-93. doi: 10.1038/embor.2011.73. Epub 2011 Apr 28.


Telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) has been implicated in the control of heterochromatin and telomerase. We demonstrate that yeast TERRA is regulated by telomere-binding proteins in a chromosome-end-specific manner that is dependent on subtelomeric repetitive DNA elements. At telomeres that contain only X-elements, the Rap1 carboxy-terminal domain recruits the Sir2/3/4 and Rif1/2 complexes to repress transcription in addition to promoting Rat1-nuclease-dependent TERRA degradation. At telomeres that contain Y' elements, however, Rap1 represses TERRA through recruitment of Rif1 and Rif2. Our work emphasizes the importance of subtelomeric DNA in the control of telomeric protein composition and telomere transcription.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes, Fungal / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Fungal / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics
  • RNA, Untranslated / metabolism
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid / genetics*
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae* / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae* / metabolism
  • Silent Information Regulator Proteins, Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Telomere / genetics
  • Telomere / metabolism
  • Telomere-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Telomere-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • RAP1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • Repressor Proteins
  • SIR1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Silent Information Regulator Proteins, Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Telomere-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • RIF1 protein, S cerevisiae