Drosopoulos, William C and Deng, Zhong and Twayana, Shyam and Kosiyatrakul, Settapong T and Vladimirova, Olga and Lieberman, Paul M and Schildkraut, Carl L
The telomeric shelterin protein telomeric repeat-binding factor 2 (TRF2) recruits origin recognition complex (ORC) proteins, the foundational building blocks of DNA replication origins, to telomeres. We seek to determine whether TRF2-recruited ORC proteins give rise to functional origins in telomere repeat tracts. We find that reduction of telomeric recruitment of ORC2 by expression of an ORC interaction-defective TRF2 mutant significantly reduces telomeric initiation events in human cells. This reduction in initiation events is accompanied by telomere repeat loss, telomere aberrations and dysfunction. We demonstrate that telomeric origins are activated by induced replication stress to provide a key rescue mechanism for completing compromised telomere replication. Importantly, our studies also indicate that the chromatin remodeler SNF2H promotes telomeric initiation events by providing access for ORC2. Collectively, our findings reveal that active recruitment of ORC by TRF2 leads to formation of functional origins, providing an important mechanism for avoiding telomere dysfunction and rescuing challenged telomere replication.