Gabriel Eades

TERRA RNA Antagonizes ATRX and Protects Telomeres
Hsueh-Ping Chu, Catherine Cifuentes-Rojas, Barry Kesner, Eric Aeby, Hun-goo Lee, Chunyao Wei, Hyun Jung Oh, Myriam Boukhali, Wilhelm Haas, Jeannie T. Lee
June 29, 2017
1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston, MA 02114, USA 2Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA 3Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA 4Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Charlestown, Boston, MA 02114, USA 5Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA
Through an integration of genomic and proteomic approaches to advance understanding of long noncoding RNAs, we investigate the function of the telomeric transcript, TERRA. By identifying thousands of TERRA target sites in the mouse genome, we demonstrate that TERRA can bind both in cis to telomeres and in trans to genic targets. We then define a large network of interacting proteins, including epigenetic factors, telomeric proteins, and the RNA helicase, ATRX. TERRA and ATRX share hundreds of target genes and are functionally antagonistic at these loci: whereas TERRA activates, ATRX represses gene expression. At telomeres, TERRA competes with telomeric DNA for ATRX binding, suppresses ATRX localization, and ensures telomeric stability. Depleting TERRA increases telomerase activity and induces telomeric pathologies, including formation of telomere-induced DNA damage foci and loss or duplication of telomeric sequences. We conclude that TERRA functions as an epigenomic modulator in trans and as an essential regulator of telomeres in cis.
July 19, 2017
HSW 1057 at noon