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Title: RPA engages telomeric G-quadruplexes more effectively than CST

G-quadruplexes (G4s) are a set of stable secondary structures that form within guanine-rich regions of single-stranded nucleic acids that pose challenges for DNA maintenance. The G-rich DNA sequence at telomeres has a propensity to form G4s of various topologies. The human protein complexes Replication Protein A (RPA) and CTC1-STN1-TEN1 (CST) are implicated in managing G4s at telomeres, leading to DNA unfolding and allowing telomere replication to proceed. Here, we use fluorescence anisotropy equilibrium binding measurements to determine the ability of these proteins to bind various telomeric G4s. We find that the ability of CST to specifically bind G-rich ssDNA is substantially inhibited by the presence of G4s. In contrast, RPA tightly binds telomeric G4s, showing negligible changes in affinity for G4 structure compared to linear ssDNAs. Using a mutagenesis strategy, we found that RPA DNA-binding domains work together for G4 binding, and simultaneous disruption of these domains reduces the affinity of RPA for G4 ssDNA. The relative inability of CST to disrupt G4s, combined with the greater cellular abundance of RPA, suggests that RPA could act as a primary protein complex responsible for resolving G4s at telomeres.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Nucleic Acids Research
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 5073-5086
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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