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Touzot F.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Touzot F.,University of Paris Descartes | Callebaut I.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Soulier J.,Assistance Publique Hopitaux Of Paris Hematology Laboratory | And 13 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2010

Telomeres, the protein-DNA complexes at the ends of linear chromosomes, are protected and regulated by the shelterin molecules, the telomerase complex, and other accessory factors, among which is Apollo, a DNA repair factor of the β-lactamase/β-CASP family. Impaired telomere protection in humans causes dyskeratosis congenita and Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson (HH) syndrome, characterized by premature aging, bone marrow failure, and immunodeficiency. We identified a unique Apollo splice variant (designated Apollo-Δ) in fibroblasts from a patient with HH syndrome. Apollo-Δ generates a dominant negative form of Apollo lacking the telomeric repeat-binding factor homology (TRFH)-binding motif (TBM) required for interaction with the shelterin TRF2 at telomeres. Apollo-Δ hampers the proper replication of telomeres, leading to major telomeric dysfunction and cellular senescence, but maintains its DNA interstrand cross-link repair function in the whole genome. These results identify Apollo as a crucial actor in telomere maintenance in vivo, independent of its function as a general DNA repair factor.

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