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Mechanism of MRX inhibition by Rif2 at telomeres

Abstract : Specific proteins present at telomeres ensure chromosome end stability, in large part through unknown mechanisms. In this work, we address how the Saccharomyces cerevisiae ORC-related Rif2 protein protects telomere. We show that the small N-terminal Rif2 BAT motif (Blocks Addition of Telomeres) previously known to limit telomere elongation and Tel1 activity is also sufficient to block NHEJ and 5' end resection. The BAT motif inhibits the ability of the Mre11-Rad50-Xrs2 complex (MRX) to capture DNA ends. It acts through a direct contact with Rad50 ATP-binding Head domains. Through genetic approaches guided by structural predictions, we identify residues at the surface of Rad50 that are essential for the interaction with Rif2 and its inhibition. Finally, a docking model predicts how BAT binding could specifically destabilise the DNA-bound state of the MRX complex. From these results, we propose that when an MRX complex approaches a telomere, the Rif2 BAT motif binds MRX Head in its ATP-bound resting state. This antagonises MRX transition to its DNA-bound state, and favours a rapid return to the ATP-bound state. Unable to stably capture the telomere end, the MRX complex cannot proceed with the subsequent steps of NHEJ, Tel1-activation and 5' resection.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 2:01:50 PM
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Florian Roisné-Hamelin, Sabrina Pobiega, Kévin Jézéquel, Simona Miron, Jordane Dépagne, et al.. Mechanism of MRX inhibition by Rif2 at telomeres. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 12 (1), pp.2763. ⟨10.1038/s41467-021-23035-w⟩. ⟨hal-03231067⟩



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