Identification of a Specific Telomere Terminal Transferase Activity in Tetrahymena Extracts

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Title: Identification of a Specific Telomere Terminal Transferase Activity in Tetrahymena Extracts
Author: Blackburn, Elizabeth H.; Greider, Carol W.
Abstract: We have found a novel activity in Tetrahymena cell free extracts that adds tandem TTGGGG repeats onto synthetic telomere primers. The single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides (TTGGGG)4 and TGTGTGGGTGTGTGGGTGTGTGGG, consisting of the Tetrahymena and yeast telomeric sequences respectively, each functioned as primers for elongation, while (CCCCAA)4 and two nontelomeric sequence DNA oligomers did not. Efficient synthesis of the TTGGGG repeats depended only on addition of micromolar concentrations of oligomer primer, dGTP, and dTTP to the extract. The activity was sensitive to heat and proteinase K treatment. The repeat addition was independent of both endogenous Tetrahymena DNA and the endogenous alpha-type DNA polymerase; and a greater elongation activity was present during macronuclear development, when a large number of telomeres are formed and replicated, than during vegetative cell growth. We propose that the novel telomere terminal transferase is involved in the addition of telomeric repeats necessary for the replication of chromosome ends in eukaryotes.
URI: http://jhir.library.jhu.edu/handle/1774.2/33683
Date: 1985-12
Citation: Reprinted from Cell 43, Greider, Carol W. and Elizabeth H. Blackburn, "Identification of a Specific Telomere Terminal Transferase Activity in Tetrahymena Extracts", pg. 405-413, copyright 1985 with permission from Elsevier. Original version available at http://www.cell.com
Subject: Tetrahymena/enzymology
DNA Nucleotidyltransferases/isolation & purification
DNA Nucleotidylexotranferase/isolation & purification

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