Thomas R Cech

Learn More
Telomere proteins from ciliated protozoa bind to the single-stranded G-rich DNA extensions at the ends of macronuclear chromosomes. We have now identified homologous proteins in fission yeast and in humans. These Pot1 (protection of telomeres) proteins each bind the G-rich strand of their own telomeric repeat sequence, consistent with a direct role in(More)
Catalytic protein subunits of telomerase from the ciliate Euplotes aediculatus and the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae contain reverse transcriptase motifs. Here the homologous genes from the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and human are identified. Disruption of the S. pombe gene resulted in telomere shortening and senescence, and expression of mRNA(More)
Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein enzyme essential for the replication of chromosome termini in most eukaryotes. Telomerase RNA components have been identified from many organisms, but no protein component has been demonstrated to catalyze telomeric DNA extension. Telomerase was purified from Euplotes aediculatus, a ciliated protozoan, and one of its(More)
Group I introns fold to form an active site to mediate their own RNA splicing. Sequence elements conserved among the available set of 66 group I introns are compiled. Comparative sequence analysis leads to the prediction of some conserved structural features that have not been widely appreciated. The possible significance of conserved nucleotides within(More)
Telomeres were originally defined as chromosome caps that prevent the natural ends of linear chromosomes from undergoing deleterious degradation and fusion events. POT1 (protection of telomeres) protein binds the single-stranded G-rich DNA overhangs at human chromosome ends and suppresses unwanted DNA repair activities. TPP1 is a previously identified(More)
Group I self-splicing introns catalyze their own excision from precursor RNAs by way of a two-step transesterification reaction. The catalytic core of these ribozymes is formed by two structural domains. The 2.8-angstrom crystal structure of one of these, the P4-P6 domain of the Tetrahymena thermophila intron, is described. In the 160-nucleotide domain, a(More)
Telomeres, the specialized nucleoprotein structures that comprise the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, are essential for complete replication, and regulation of their length has been a focus of research on tumorigenesis. In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the protein Rap1p binds to telomeric DNA and functions in the regulation of telomere length.(More)
Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) is a histone methyltransferase required for epigenetic silencing during development and cancer. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) recruit PRC2 to chromatin, but the general role of RNA in maintaining repressed chromatin is unknown. Here we measure the binding constants of human PRC2 to various RNAs and find comparable(More)
The POT1 (protection of telomeres 1) protein binds the single-stranded overhang at the ends of chromosomes in diverse eukaryotes. It is essential for chromosome end-protection in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and it is involved in regulation of telomere length in human cells. Here, we report the crystal structure at a resolution of 1.73 A of(More)