Molecular and Evolutionary Analysis of RNA-Protein Interactions in Telomerase Regulation

Noncoding RNA. 2024 Jun 18;10(3):36. doi: 10.3390/ncrna10030036.


Telomerase is an enzyme involved in the maintenance of telomeres. Telomere shortening due to the end-replication problem is a threat to the genome integrity of all eukaryotes. Telomerase inside cells depends on a myriad of protein-protein and RNA-protein interactions to properly assemble and regulate the function of the telomerase holoenzyme. These interactions are well studied in model eukaryotes, like humans, yeast, and the ciliated protozoan known as Tetrahymena thermophila. Emerging evidence also suggests that deep-branching eukaryotes, such as the parasitic protist Trypanosoma brucei require conserved and novel RNA-binding proteins for the assembly and function of their telomerase. In this review, we will discuss telomerase regulatory pathways in the context of telomerase-interacting proteins, with special attention paid to RNA-binding proteins. We will discuss these interactors on an evolutionary scale, from parasitic protists to humans, to provide a broader perspective on the extensive role that protein-protein and RNA-protein interactions play in regulating telomerase activity in eukaryotes.

Keywords: RNA chaperones; RNA-binding proteins; Trypanosoma brucei; interactomes; parasites; telomerase; telomerase RNA; telomerase reverse transcriptase; telomeres.

Publication types

  • Review