We have identified and characterized protein factors from mung bean (Vigna radiata) nuclear extracts that specifically bind the single-stranded G-rich telomeric DNA repeats. Nuclear extracts were prepared from three different types of plant tissue, radicle, hypocotyl, and root, in order to examine changes in the expression patterns of telomere-binding proteins during the development of mung bean. At least three types of specific complexes (A, B, and C) were detected by gel retardation assays with synthetic telomere and nuclear extract from radicle tissue, whereas the two major faster-migrating complexes (A and B) were formed with nuclear extracts from hypocotyl and root tissues. Gel retardation assays also revealed differences in relative amount of each complex forming activity in radicle, hypocotyl, and root nuclear extracts. These data suggest that the expression of telomere-binding proteins is developmentally regulated in plants, and that the factor involved in the formation of complex C may be required during the early stages of development. The binding factors have properties of proteins and are hence designated as mung bean G-rich telomere-binding proteins (MGBP). MGBPs bind DNA substrates with three or more single-stranded TTTAGGG repeats, while none of them show binding affinity to either double-stranded or single-stranded C-rich telomeric DNA. These proteins have a lower affinity to human telomeric sequences than to plant telomeric sequences and do not exhibit a significant binding activity to Tetrahymena telomeric sequence or mutated plant telomeric sequences, indicating that their binding activities are specific to plant telomere. Furthermore, RNase treatment of the nuclear extracts did not affect the complex formation activities. This result indicates that the single-stranded telomere-binding activities may be attributed to a simple protein but not a ribonucleoprotein. The ability of MGBPs to bind specifically the single-stranded TTTAGGG repeats may suggest their in vivo functions in the chromosome ends of plants.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We wish to thank Dr M. H. Cho and Mr J. M. Suh for critical comments on the manuscript. This work was supported in part by research grants from the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (97-04-01-04-01-3) and the Bioproducts Research Center of Yonsei University (95K2-0401-00-01-5).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science