A new role for proteins subunits of RNase P: stabilization of the telomerase holoenzyme.
RNase P, an RNA-protein complex, is essential for processing tRNAs. Three of the ten protein subunits of RNase P (and a related complex, RNase MRP) co-purify with yeast telomerase, another RNA-protein complex. The three telomerase-associated proteins, Pop1, 6 and 7, bind to TLC1, the RNA subunit of telomerase. In a recent study ( Nat Commun), we used temperature sensitive alleles of the essential genes to determine their role in telomerase biogenesis. At permissive temperature, mutant cells grow normally, and the abundance of most proteins, including protein subunits of telomerase, is similar to wild type (WT). However, telomeres are short, and the amount of the mature telomerase holoenzyme is low. Unlike the RNA subunit of RNase MRP, TLC1 is more abundant in cells and properly folded, except at the Cs2a/TeSS domain where the Pop proteins bind. These defects correlate with defective movement of TLC1 from the cytoplasm, where it associates with telomerase proteins, back to the nucleus where it lengthens telomeres. Thus, Pop proteins are needed for the stable association of telomerase proteins with TLC1, and their reduction sequesters mature telomerase in the cytoplasm, away from its nuclear substrates.