MLL associates with telomeres and regulates telomeric repeat-containing RNA transcription

Corrado Caslini, James A. Connelly, Amparo Serna, Dominique Broccoli, Jay Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mammalian telomeres consist of TTAGGG repeats organized in nucleosomes and associated with a six-protein complex known as shelterin, which preserves telomere structure and protects chromosome ends from the cellular DNA damage response. Recent studies have found that telomeres are transcribed into telomeric UUAGGG repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) starting from subtelomeric regions. TERRA binding at telomeres appears to be involved in cis-based mechanisms of telomeric chromatin organization and maintenance. A number of histone methyltransferases (HMTs) are known to influence telomeric chromatin status; however, the regulatory mechanisms of telomere transcription are poorly understood. Here, we show that the histone 3/lysine 4 (H3/K4) HMT and the transcriptional regulator MLL associate with telomeres and contribute to their H3/K4 methylation and transcription in a telomere length-dependent manner. In human diploid fibroblasts, RNA interference-mediated MLL depletion affects telomere chromatin modification and transcription and induces the telomere damage response. Telomere uncapping through either TRF2 shelterin protein knockdown or exposure to telomere G-strand DNA oligonucleotides significantly increases the transcription of TERRA, an effect mediated by the functional cooperation between MLL and the tumor suppressor p53. In total, our findings identify a previously unrecognized role of MLL in modifying telomeric chromatin and provide evidence for the functional interaction between MLL, p53, and the shelterin complex in the regulation of telomeric transcription and stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4519-4526
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Volume29
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

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Telomere
RNA
Chromatin
Telomeric Repeat Binding Protein 2
Chromosome Structures
Nucleosomes
RNA Interference
Diploidy
Oligonucleotides
Histones
Methylation
Lysine
DNA Damage
Fibroblasts
Maintenance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

MLL associates with telomeres and regulates telomeric repeat-containing RNA transcription. / Caslini, Corrado; Connelly, James A.; Serna, Amparo; Broccoli, Dominique; Hess, Jay.

In: Molecular and Cellular Biology, Vol. 29, No. 16, 08.2009, p. 4519-4526.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Caslini, Corrado ; Connelly, James A. ; Serna, Amparo ; Broccoli, Dominique ; Hess, Jay. / MLL associates with telomeres and regulates telomeric repeat-containing RNA transcription. In: Molecular and Cellular Biology. 2009 ; Vol. 29, No. 16. pp. 4519-4526.
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