Distinct Biogenesis Pathways for Human Telomerase RNA and H/ACA Small Nucleolar RNAs.
Fu D, Collins K
Molecular Cell (2003)
Category: telomerase ¤ Added: May 29, 2003 ¤ Rating: ◊◊
Functional RNAs are processed according to cues from precursor expression context. The presence of an H/ACA motif within the human telomerase RNA (hTR) suggested that telomerase might utilize the biogenesis pathway of an H/ACA small nucleolar RNA. Here, we have investigated the requirements for processing, stability, and function of hTR. Instead of a biogenesis pathway dependent on transcription context or precursor sequence, we find that maturation of hTR requires cooperation of the H/ACA motif and an additional motif unique to the hTR H/ACA domain. This telomerase-specific hTR element is mutated in dyskeratosis congenita, and the disease-associated hTR substitution impairs RNA accumulation. Disease associated hTR variants with sequence changes outside the H/ACA domain do not affect RNA processing or stability; they instead impose a catalytic defect. Our results reveal differences between the biogenesis of hTR and other H/ACA-motif RNAs and demonstrate distinct mechanisms of telomerase inhibition in human disease.