Extraordinary diversity of telomeres, telomerase RNAs and their template regions in Saccharomycetaceae
Telomerase RNA (TR) carries the template for synthesis of telomere DNA and provides a scaffold for telomerase assembly. Fungal TRs are long and have been compared to higher eukaryotes, where they show considerable diversity within phylogenetically close groups. TRs of several Saccharomycetaceae were recently identified, however, many of these remained uncharacterised in the template region. Here we show that this is mainly due to high variability in telomere sequence. We predicted the telomere sequences using Tandem Repeats Finder and then we identified corresponding putative template regions in TR candidates. Remarkably long telomere units and the corresponding putative TRs were found in Tetrapisispora species. Notably, variable lengths of the annealing sequence of the template region (1–10 nt) were found. Consequently, species with the same telomere sequence may not harbour identical TR templates. Thus, TR sequence alone can be used to predict a template region and telomere sequence, but not to determine these exactly. A conserved feature of telomere sequences, tracts of adjacent Gs, led us to test the propensity of individual telomere sequences to form G4. The results show highly diverse values of G4-propensity, indicating the lack of ubiquitous conservation of this feature across Saccharomycetaceae.
Telomerase RNA, TR, G4-propensity, Tetrapisispora species