The cryo-EM structure of human CST reveals a two-megadalton decameric assembly bound to telomeric DNA Journal Article uri icon



  • AbstractThe single-stranded DNA-binding CTC1-STN1-TEN1 (CST) complex is essential for telomere maintenance and genome-wide replication recovery, processes that are critical for genome stability. Here, we report the 2.95 Å cryo-EM structure of human CST bound to telomeric single-stranded DNA, which unexpectedly assembles as a decameric supercomplex. The atomic model of the 134 kDa CTC1, built almost entirely de novo, reveals the overall architecture of CST and the DNA-binding anchor site. In situ arrangements of STN1 and TEN1 are revealed, with STN1 interacting with CTC1 at two separated sites, allowing allosteric mediation of CST decameric assembly. Surprisingly, CTC1 lacks the anticipated structural homology to yeast Cdc13 but instead shares similarity with a form of Replication Protein A. The atomic-resolution model of human CST provides crucial mechanistic understanding of CST mutations associated with human diseases. Moreover, the decameric form of CST suggests the intriguing possibility of ssDNA architectural organization similar to what the nucleosome provides for dsDNA.One Sentence SummaryHuman telomeric single-stranded DNA triggers the assembly of a decameric protein supercomplex solved by cryo-EM.

publication date

  • October 23, 2019

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • November 4, 2020 5:05 AM

Full Author List

  • Lim CJ; Barbour AT; Zaug AJ; McKay AE; Wuttke DS; Cech TR

author count

  • 6

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