Novel connections between DNA replication, telomere homeostasis, and the DNA damage response revealed by a genome-wide screen for TEL1/ATM interactions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Genetics, Volume 193, Issue 4, p.1117-33 (2013)


2013, Flow Cytometry Core Facility, Scientific Imaging Core Facility


Tel1 is the budding yeast ortholog of the mammalian tumor suppressor and DNA damage response (DDR) kinase ATM. However, tel1-Δ cells, unlike ATM-deficient cells, do not exhibit sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents, but do display shortened (but stably maintained) telomere lengths. Neither the extent to which Tel1p functions in the DDR nor the mechanism by which Tel1 contributes to telomere metabolism is well understood. To address the first question, we present the results from a comprehensive genome-wide screen for genetic interactions with tel1-Δ that cause sensitivity to methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) and/or ionizing radiation, along with follow-up characterizations of the 13 interactions yielded by this screen. Surprisingly, many of the tel1-Δ interactions that confer DNA damage sensitivity also exacerbate the short telomere phenotype, suggesting a connection between these two phenomena. Restoration of normal telomere length in the tel1-Δ xxx-Δ mutants results in only minor suppression of the DNA damage sensitivity, demonstrating that the sensitivity of these mutants must also involve mechanisms independent of telomere length. In support of a model for increased replication stress in the tel1-Δ xxx-Δ mutants, we show that depletion of dNTP pools through pretreatment with hydroxyurea renders tel1-Δ cells (but not wild type) MMS-sensitive, demonstrating that, under certain conditions, Tel1p does indeed play a critical role in the DDR.