The Bur1 cyclin-dependent kinase regulates telomere length in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Carla J. Connelly, Sofia Vidal-Cardenas, Stephanie Goldsmith, Carol W. Greider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Telomere length regulation is essential for cell viability in eukaryotes. While many pathways that affect telomere length are known, we do not yet have a complete understanding of the mechanism of length regulation. To identify new pathways that might regulate telomere length, we carried out a genetic screen in yeast and identified the cyclin-dependent kinase complex Bur1/2 as a regulator of telomere length. Mutations in either BUR1 cyclin-dependent kinase or the associated BUR2 cyclin resulted in short telomeres. This regulation did not function through the known role of BUR1 in regulating histone modification as bur1∆ set2∆ and bur2∆ set2∆ double mutants rescued cell growth but did not rescue the telomere shortening effects. We found that both bur1∆ and bur2∆ set2∆ were also defective in de novo telomere addition, and deletion of SET2 did also not rescue this elongation defect. The Bur1/2 cyclin-dependent kinase regulates transcription of many genes. We found that TLC1 RNA levels were reduced in bur2∆ set2∆ mutants; however, overexpression of TLC1 restored the transcript levels but did not restore de novo telomere elongation or telomere length. These data suggest that the Bur1/2 kinase plays a role in telomere elongation separate from its role in transcription of telomerase components. Dissecting the role of the Bur1/2 kinase pathway at telomeres will help complete our understanding of the complex network of telomere length regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-192
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Bur1
  • Bur2
  • kinase
  • telomere length equilibrium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology


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