BACKGROUND: In budding yeast, the highly conserved Tel2 protein is part of several complexes and its main function is now believed to be in the biogenesis of phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase related kinases. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To uncover potentially novel functions of Tel2, we set out to isolate temperature-sensitive (ts) mutant alleles of TEL2 in order to perform genetic screenings. MED15/GAL11, a subunit of Mediator, a general regulator of transcription, was isolated as a suppressor of these mutants. The isolated tel2 mutants exhibited a short telomere phenotype that was partially rescued by MED15/GAL11 overexpression. The tel2-15 mutant was markedly deficient in the transcription of EST2, coding for the catalytic subunit of telomerase, potentially explaining the short telomere phenotype of this mutant. In parallel, a two-hybrid screen identified an association between Tel2 and Rvb2, a highly conserved member of the AAA+ family of ATPases further found by in vivo co-immunoprecipitation to be tight and constitutive. Transiently overproduced Tel2 and Med15/Gal11 associated together, suggesting a potential role for Tel2 in transcription. Other Mediator subunits, as well as SUA7/TFIIB, also rescued the tel2-ts mutants. SIGNIFICANCE: Altogether, the present data suggest the existence of a novel role for Tel2, namely in transcription, possibly in cooperation with Rvb2 and involving the existence of physical interactions with the Med15/Gal11 Mediator subunit.
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