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Interaction of Telomeric Retroelement HeT-A Transcripts and Their Protein Product Gag in Early Embryogenesis of Drosophila

I. A. Olovnikov, V. V. Morgunova, A. A. Mironova, M. Y. Kordyukova, E. I. Radion, O. M. Olenkina, N. V. Akulenko, and A. I. Kalmykova*

Institute of Molecular Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, 123182 Moscow, Russia; E-mail: allakalm@img.ras.ru

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received June 30, 2016; Revision received July 4, 2016
The telomere is a nucleoprotein complex at the ends of linear chromosomes that protects them from fusion and degradation. The telomere consists of telomeric DNA, a protective protein complex and telomeric RNA. Biogenesis of telomeric transcripts in development is still far from being understood. Drosophila telomeres are elongated by a transposition of specialized telomeric retrotransposons that encode proteins. Using transgenic constructs encoding tagged telomeric protein, we found that transcripts of Drosophila telomeric element HeT-A bind Gag-HeT-A protein encoded by these transcripts. Maternal HeT-A transcripts and Gag-HeT-A form ribonucleoprotein granules around centrosomes, centers of microtubule organization, during blastoderm formation, upon disruption of telomere silencing during oogenesis. The specific localization of HeT-A RNA is dependent on microtubules since disruption of microtubules caused delocalization of HeT-A transcripts. This transgenic system is a valuable model for the study of telomeric RNA biogenesis.
KEY WORDS: telomere, development, retrotransposon HeT-A, Drosophila, telomeric RNA

DOI: 10.1134/S000629791609011X