Using the Telobox to Search for Plant Telomere Binding Proteins
Telobox is a Myb-related DNA-binding domain which is present in a number of yeast, plant and animal proteins. Its capacity to bind preferentially double-stranded telomeric DNA has been used in numerous studies to search for candidate telomeric proteins in various organisms, including plants. Here we provide an overview of these studies with a special emphasis on plants, where a specific subfamily of the proteins possessing the N-terminally positioned telobox is present in addition to more common C-terminal telobox proteins. We further demonstrate the presence of a telobox protein (CpTBP1) in Cestrum parqui, a plant lacking typical telomeres and telomerase. The protein shows nuclear localisation and association with chromatin. The role of this protein in ancestral and current telomere structure is discussed in the evolutionary context. Altogether, the present overview shows the importance of the telobox domain in a search for candidate telomere proteins but at the same time warns against oversimplified identification of any telobox protein with telomere structure without appropriate evidence of its telomeric localisation and function.