Publication details

Telomere maintenance in plant cells with hypomethylated telomeres and subtelomeres

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Year of publication 2011
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Telomeres, regarding to the recent results, display euchromatic and heterochromatic features and their maintenance is co-regulated epigenetically. Mice deficient for histone or DNA methyltransferases showed, among others, increased length of telomeres and noticeable changes in their chromatin structure. Here we studied the effect of hypomethylating drugs on telomere maintenance in plants, which show much higher complexity of epigenetic pathways compared to mammals. We reached a considerable hypomethylation of whole genome and even deeper hypomethylation of subtelomeric and telomeric regions (up to six times bigger than in control cells); when the reagents are eliminated the re-methylation occurs immediately. As regards to nucleosomal positioning, no visible changes were detected but considerable changes were seen in the level of TERRA. For cells treated by DHPA the level of TERRA rapidly decreased while cells treated by zebularine showed a remarkable increase in TERRA. This divergence can be caused by a different sphere of action of both reagents. The qTRAP assay revealed that in treated cells the activity of telomerase significantly increases but returns to the control level as soon as the hypomethylating reagents are removed which is in an exact accord to the changes in methylation pattern. Surprisingly when we measured the length of telomeres in control and treated cells we didn’t observe any changes which indicates that the length of telomeres is not directly bounded to the activity of telomerase and the increased activity of telomerase doesn’t necessarily lead to the elongation of telomeres in tobacco plants.
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