Repair of chromosome ends after telomere loss in Saccharomyces

J. L. Mangahas, M. K. Alexander, L. L. Sandell, V. A. Zakian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Removal of a telomere from yeast chromosome VII in a strain having two copies of this chromosome often results in its loss. Here we show that there are three pathways that can stabilize this broken chromosome: homologous recombination, nonhomologous end joining, and de novo telomere addition. Both in a wild-type and a recombination deficient rad52 strain, most stabilization events were due to homologous recombination, whereas nonhomologous end joining was exceptionally rare. De novo telomere addition was relatively rare, stabilizing <0.1% of broken chromosomes. Telomere addition took place at a very limited number of sites on chromosome VII, most occurring close to a 35-base pair stretch of telomere-like DNA that is normally ∼50 kb from the left telomere of chromosome VII. In the absence of the Piflp DNA helicase, telomere addition events were much more frequent and were not concentrated near the 35-base pair tract of telomere-like DNA. We propose that internal tracts of telomere-like sequence recruit telomerase by binding its anchor site and that Pif1p inhibits telomerase by dissociating DNA primertelomerase RNA interactions. These data also show that telomeric DNA is essential for the stable maintenance of linear chromosomes in yeast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4078-4089
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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