CANCER RESEARCH, vol.66, no.1, pp.113-124, 2006 (SCI-Expanded)
The ends of linear chromosomes are capped and protected by protein-DNA complexes termed telomeres. Consequences of telomere dysfunction include genomic instability that can contribute to neoplastic transformation and progression. Telomere binding proteins interact with numerous proteins involved in DNA repair, underscoring the importance of regulating DNA repair pathways at telomeres. Telomeric DNA is particularly susceptible to oxidative damage, and such damage is repaired primarily via the base excision repair (BER) pathway. Using a screen for potential interactions between telomere repeat binding factor 2 (TRF2) and proteins involved in BER of oxidized bases in vitro, we found that TRF2 physically bound DNA polymerase beta (Pol beta) and flap endonuclease 1 (FEN-1). The interactions with endogenous proteins in human cell extracts were confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation experiments. The primary binding sites for both Pol beta anti FEN-1 mapped to the TRF2 NH2-terminal and COOH-terminal domains. We further tested the ability of TRF2 to modulate BER protein partners individually on a variety of substrates in vitro. TRF2 stimulated Pol 0 primer extension DNA synthesis on telomeric and nontelomeric primer/template substrates, resulting in up to a 75% increase in the proportion of longer products. TRF2 also stimulated Pol beta strand displacement DNA synthesis in reconstituted BER reactions and increased the percent, of long-patch BER intermediates on both telomeric and nontelomeric substrates. Potential roles of TRF2 in cooperation with BER proteins for DNA repair pathways at telomeres, as well as other genomic regions, are discussed.