Mutations in DKC1 (encoding dyskerin) cause telomere diseases including dyskeratosis congenita (DC) by decreasing steady-state levels of TERC, the non-coding RNA component of telomerase. How DKC1 mutations variably impact numerous other snoRNAs remains unclear, which is a barrier to understanding disease mechanisms in DC beyond impaired telomere maintenance. Here, using DC patient iPSCs, we show that mutations in the dyskerin N-terminal extension domain (NTE) dysregulate scaRNA13. In iPSCs carrying the del37L NTE mutation or engineered to carry NTE mutations via CRISPR/Cas9, but not in those with C-terminal mutations, we found scaRNA13 transcripts with aberrant 3' extensions, as seen when the exoribonuclease PARN is mutated in DC. Biogenesis of scaRNA13 was rescued by repair of the del37L DKC1 mutation by genome-editing, or genetic or pharmacological inactivation of the polymerase PAPD5, which counteracts PARN. Inspection of the human telomerase cryo-EM structure revealed that in addition to mediating intermolecular dyskerin interactions, the NTE interacts with terminal residues of the associated snoRNA, indicating a role for this domain in 3' end definition. Our results provide mechanistic insights into the interplay of dyskerin and the PARN/PAPD5 axis in the biogenesis and accumulation of snoRNAs beyond TERC, broadening our understanding of ncRNA dysregulation in human diseases.
© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.