Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes essential for the integrity of eukaryotic chromosomes. Cellular roles of singlestrandedtelomeric DNA binding proteins have been extensively described in yeast and animals, but our knowledge about plant single-strand telomeric factors is rudimentary. Here, we investigated Nicotiana tabacum G-strand-specific singlestranded telomere binding proteins (GTBPs), homologs of a human heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein. GTBPs bound specifically to the plant single-stranded (TTTAGGG)4 telomeric repeat element in vitro and were associated with telomeric sequences in tobacco BY-2 suspension cells. Transgenic plants (35S:RNAi-GTBP1), in which GTBP1 was suppressed, exhibited severe developmental anomalies. In addition, the chromosomes of 35S:RNAi-GTBP1 cells displayed elongated telomeres, frequent formation of extrachromosomal telomeric circles, and numerous abnormal anaphase bridges, indicating that GTBP1 knockdown tobacco plants experienced genome instability. GTBP1 inhibited strand invasion, an initial step in interchromosomal homologous recombination. We propose that GTBP1 plays a critical role in telomere structure and function by preventing aberrant interchromosomal telomeric homologous recombination in tobacco.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology