DNA replication is initiated at replication origins on chromosomes at their scheduled time during S phase of the cell cycle. Replication timing control is highly conserved among eukaryotes but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Recent studies have revealed that some telomere-binding proteins regulate replication timing at late-replicating origins throughout the genome. To investigate the molecular basis of this process, we analyzed the effects of excessive elongation of telomere DNA on replication timing by deleting telomere-associated shelterin proteins in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We found that rap1∆ and poz1∆ cells showed abnormally accelerated replication at internal late origins but not at subtelomere regions. These defects were suppressed by removal of telomere DNA and by deletion of the telomere-binding protein Taz1. Furthermore, Sds21-a counter protein phosphatase against Dbf4-dependent kinase (DDK)-accumulated at elongated telomeres in a Taz1-dependent manner but was depleted at internal late origins, indicating that highly elongated telomeres sequester Sds21 at telomeres and perturb replication timing at internal regions. These results demonstrate that telomere DNA length is an important determinant of replication timing at internal regions of chromosomes in eukaryotes.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare no competing interests.
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