Cohesin SMC1β promotes closed chromatin and controls TERRA expression at spermatocyte telomeres

Uddipta Biswas, Tanaya Deb Mallik, Johannes Pschirer, Matthias Lesche, Katrin Sameith, Rolf Jessberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Previous data showed that meiotic cohesin SMC1β protects spermatocyte telomeres from damage. The underlying reason, however, remained unknown as the expressions of telomerase and shelterin components were normal in Smc1β2/2 spermatocytes. Here. we report that SMC1β restricts expression of the long noncoding RNA TERRA (telomeric repeat containing RNA) in spermatocytes. In somatic cell lines increased TERRA was reported to cause telomere damage through altering telomere chromatin structure. In Smc1β2/2 spermatocytes, we observed strongly increased levels of TERRA which accumulate on damaged chromosomal ends, where enhanced R-loop formation was found. This suggested amore open chromatin configuration near telomeres in Smc1β2/2 spermatocytes, which was confirmed by ATAC-seq. Telomere-distal regions were not affected by the absence of SMC1β but RNA-seq revealed increased transcriptional activity in telomere-proximal regions. Thus, SMC1β promotes closed chromatin specifically near telomeres and limits TERRA expression in spermatocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202201798
JournalLife Science Alliance
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


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