Indexed on: 10 May '16Published on: 10 May '16Published in: Cell
Telomerase is the ribonucleoprotein enzyme that replenishes telomeric DNA and maintains genome integrity. Minimally, telomerase activity requires a templating RNA and a catalytic protein. Additional proteins are required for activity on telomeres in vivo. Here, we report that the Pop1, Pop6, and Pop7 proteins, known components of RNase P and RNase MRP, bind to yeast telomerase RNA and are essential constituents of the telomerase holoenzyme. Pop1/Pop6/Pop7 binding is specific and involves an RNA domain highly similar to a protein-binding domain in the RNAs of RNase P/MRP. The results also show that Pop1/Pop6/Pop7 function to maintain the essential components Est1 and Est2 on the RNA in vivo. Consistently, addition of Pop1 allows for telomerase activity reconstitution with wild-type telomerase RNA in vitro. Thus, the same chaperoning module has allowed the evolution of functionally and, remarkably, structurally distinct RNPs, telomerase, and RNases P/MRP from unrelated progenitor RNAs.