Telomere proteins from ciliated protozoa bind to the single-stranded G-rich DNA extensions at the ends of macronuclear chromosomes. We have now identified homologous proteins in fission yeast and in humans. These Pot1 (protection oftelomeres) proteins each bind the G-rich strand of their own telomeric repeat sequence, consistent with a direct role in protecting chromosome ends. Deletion of the fission yeastpot1 +gene has an immediate effect on chromosome stability, causing rapid loss of telomeric DNA and chromosome circularization. It now appears that the protein that caps the ends of chromosomes is widely dispersed throughout the eukaryotic kingdom.
Baumann, Peter and Cech, Thomas R., "Pot1, the Putative Telomere End-binding Protein in Fission Yeast and Humans" (2001). Chemistry & Biochemistry Faculty Contributions. 2.