Theses Doctoral

Interstitial Telomere Sequences Disrupt Break Induced Replication

Stivison, Elizabeth Anne

Break Induced Replication (BIR), a mechanism by which cells heal one-ended double-strand breaks, involves the invasion of a broken strand of DNA into a homologous template, and the copying of tens to hundreds of kilobases from the site of invasion to the telomere using a migrating D-loop. Here we show that if BIR encounters an interstitial telomere sequence (ITS) placed in its path, BIR terminates at the ITS 12% of the time, with the formation of a new telomere at this location. We find that the ITS can be converted to a functional telomere by either direct addition of telomeric repeats by telomerase, or by homology-directed repair using natural telomeres. This termination and creation of a new telomere is promoted by Mph1 helicase, which is known to disassemble D-loops. We also show that other sequences that have the potential to form new telomeres, but lack the unique features of a perfect telomere sequence, do not terminate BIR at a significant frequency in wild-type cells. However, these sequences can cause chromosome truncations if BIR is made less processive by loss of Pol32 or Pif1. These findings together indicate that features of the ITS itself, such as secondary structures and telomeric protein binding, pose a challenge to BIR and increase the vulnerability of the D-loop to dissociation by Mph1, promoting telomere formation at the site.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Nutritional and Metabolic Biology
Thesis Advisors
Symington, Lorraine S.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 8, 2019