Control of telomere length in yeast by SUMOylated PCNA and the Elg1 PCNA unloader

Pragyan Singh, Inbal Gazy, Martin Kupiec*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Telomeres cap and protect the linear eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomere length is determined by an equilibrium between positive and negative regulators of telomerase activity. A systematic screen for yeast mutants that affect telomere length maintenance in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae revealed that mutations in any of ~500 genes affects telomere length. One of the genes that, when mutated, causes telomere elongation is ELG1, which encodes an unloader of PCNA, the processivity factor for replicative DNA polymerases. PCNA can undergo SUMOylation on two conserved residues, K164 and K127, or ubiquitination at lysine 164. These modifications have already been implicated in genome stability processes. We report that SUMOylated PCNA acts as a signal that positively regulates telomerase activity. We also uncovered physical interactions between Elg1 and the CST (Cdc13-Stn1-Ten) complex and addressed the mechanism by which Elg1 and Stn1 negatively regulates telomere elongation, coordinated by SUMO. We discuss these results with respect to how chromosomal replication and telomere elongation are coordinated.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberRP86990
StatePublished - 2023


FundersFunder number
Israel Cancer Research Fund
Israel Science Foundation


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