In this work, we have identified and characterized proteins in rice nuclear extracts that specifically bind the single-stranded G-rich telomere sequence. Three types of specific DNA-protein complexes (I, II, and III) were identified by gel retardation assays using synthetic telomere substrates consisting of two or more single-stranded TTTAGGG repeats and rice nuclear extracts. Since each complex has a unique biochemical property and differs in electrophoretic mobility, at least three different proteins interact with the G-rich telomere sequences. These proteins are called rice G-rich telomere binding protein (RGBP) and none of them show binding affinity to double-stranded telomere repeats or single-stranded C-rich sequence. Changing one or two G's to C's in the TTTAGGG repeats abolishes binding activity. RGBPs have a greatly reduced affinity for human and Tetrahymena telomeric sequence and do not efficiently bind the cognate G-rich telomere RNA sequence UUUAGGG. Like other telomere binding proteins, RGBPs are resistant to high salt concentrations. RNase sensitivity of the DNA-protein interactions was tested to investigate whether an RNA component mediates the telomeric DNA-protein interaction. In this assay, we observed a novel complex (complex III) in gel retardation assays which did not alter the mobilities or the band intensities of the two pre-existing complexes (I and II). The complex III, in addition to binding to telomeric sequences, has a binding affinity to rice nuclear RNA, whereas two other complexes have a binding affinity to only single-stranded G-rich telomere DNA. Taken together, these studies suggest that RGBPs are new types of telomere-binding proteins that bind in vitro to single-stranded G-rich telomere DNA in the angiosperms.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We wish to thank Dr B. G. Kang for critical comments on the manuscript and H. S. Chae and J. H. Kim for technical assistance on rice suspension culture. This work was supported by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) through the Bioproducts Research Center at Yonsei University (95K2-0401-00-01-5).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science