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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 17 February 2015, Vol.112(7), pp.E766-75
    Description: Quorum sensing (QS) is a process of cell-to-cell communication that enables bacteria to transition between individual and collective lifestyles. QS controls virulence and biofilm formation in Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera disease. Differential RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) of wild-type V. cholerae and a locked low-cell-density QS-mutant strain identified 7,240 transcriptional start sites with ∼ 47% initiated in the antisense direction. A total of 107 of the transcripts do not appear to encode proteins, suggesting they specify regulatory RNAs. We focused on one such transcript that we name VqmR. vqmR is located upstream of the vqmA gene encoding a DNA-binding transcription factor. Mutagenesis and microarray analyses demonstrate that VqmA activates vqmR transcription, that vqmR encodes a regulatory RNA, and VqmR directly controls at least eight mRNA targets including the rtx (repeats in toxin) toxin genes and the vpsT transcriptional regulator of biofilm production. We show that VqmR inhibits biofilm formation through repression of vpsT. Together, these data provide to our knowledege the first global annotation of the transcriptional start sites in V. cholerae and highlight the importance of posttranscriptional regulation for collective behaviors in this human pathogen.
    Keywords: RNA-Seq ; Vibrio Cholerae ; Biofilm ; Quorum Sensing ; Srna ; Biofilms ; Sequence Analysis, RNA ; RNA, Viral -- Genetics ; Vibrio Cholerae -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Nature, 28 January 2016, Vol.529(7587), pp.496-501
    Description: Bacteria express many small RNAs for which the regulatory roles in pathogenesis have remained poorly understood due to a paucity of robust phenotypes in standard virulence assays. Here we use a generic 'dual RNA-seq' approach to profile RNA expression simultaneously in pathogen and host during Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infection and reveal the molecular impact of bacterial riboregulators. We identify a PhoP-activated small RNA, PinT, which upon bacterial internalization temporally controls the expression of both invasion-associated effectors and virulence genes required for intracellular survival. This riboregulatory activity causes pervasive changes in coding and noncoding transcripts of the host. Interspecies correlation analysis links PinT to host cell JAK-STAT signalling, and we identify infection-specific alterations in multiple long noncoding RNAs. Our study provides a paradigm for a sensitive RNA-based analysis of intracellular bacterial pathogens and their hosts without physical separation, as well as a new discovery route for hidden functions of pathogen genes.
    Keywords: Gene Expression Regulation -- Genetics ; Host-Pathogen Interactions -- Genetics ; RNA, Bacterial -- Genetics ; RNA, Untranslated -- Genetics ; Salmonella Typhimurium -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00280836
    E-ISSN: 1476-4687
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Nature, November 2018, Vol.563(7729), pp.121-125
    Description: Many evolutionarily distant pathogenic organisms have evolved similar survival strategies to evade the immune responses of their hosts. These include antigenic variation, through which an infecting organism prevents clearance by periodically altering the identity of proteins that are visible to the immune system of the host. Antigenic variation requires large reservoirs of immunologically diverse antigen genes, which are often generated through homologous recombination, as well as mechanisms to ensure the expression of one or very few antigens at any given time. Both homologous recombination and gene expression are affected by three-dimensional genome architecture and local DNA accessibility. Factors that link three-dimensional genome architecture, local chromatin conformation and antigenic variation have, to our knowledge, not yet been identified in any organism. One of the major obstacles to studying the role of genome architecture in antigenic variation has been the highly repetitive nature and heterozygosity of antigen-gene arrays, which has precluded complete genome assembly in many pathogens. Here we report the de novo haplotype-specific assembly and scaffolding of the long antigen-gene arrays of the model protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei, using long-read sequencing technology and conserved features of chromosome folding. Genome-wide chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) reveals a distinct partitioning of the genome, with antigen-encoding subtelomeric regions that are folded into distinct, highly compact compartments. In addition, we performed a range of analyses-Hi-C, fluorescence in situ hybridization, assays for transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing and single-cell RNA sequencing-that showed that deletion of the histone variants H3.V and H4.V increases antigen-gene clustering, DNA accessibility across sites of antigen expression and switching of the expressed antigen isoform, via homologous recombination. Our analyses identify histone variants as a molecular link between global genome architecture, local chromatin conformation and antigenic variation.
    Keywords: Antigenic Variation -- Genetics ; Chromatin -- Genetics ; DNA, Protozoan -- Metabolism ; Genome -- Genetics ; Trypanosoma Brucei Brucei -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00280836
    E-ISSN: 1476-4687
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Bacteriology, 2016, Vol.198(17-18), p.2410(9)
    Description: Bacteroides is a major component of the human gut microbiota which has a broad impact on the development and physiology of its host and a potential role in a wide range of disease syndromes. The predominance of this genus is due in large part to expansion of paralogous gene clusters, termed polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs), dedicated to the uptake and catabolism of host-derived and dietary polysaccharides. The nutritive value and availability of polysaccharides in the gut vary greatly; thus, their utilization is hierarchical and strictly controlled. A typical PUL includes regulatory genes that induce PUL expression in response to the presence of specific glycan substrates. However, the existence of additional regulatory mechanisms has been predicted to explain phenomena such as hierarchical control and catabolite repression. In this report, a previously unknown layer of regulatory control was discovered in Bacteroides fragilis. Exploratory transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis revealed the presence of cis-encoded antisense small RNAs (sRNAs) associated with 15 (30%) of the B. fragilis PULs. A model system using the Don (degradation of N-glycans) PUL showed that the donS sRNA negatively regulated Don expression at the transcriptional level, resulting in a decrease in N-glycan utilization. Additional studies performed with other Bacteroides species indicated that this regulatory mechanism is highly conserved and, interestingly, that the regulated PULs appear to be closely linked to the utilization of host-derived glycans rather than dietary plant polysaccharides. The findings described here demonstrate a global control mechanism underlying known PUL regulatory circuits and provide insight into regulation of Bacteroides physiology.
    Keywords: Anaerobic Bacteria – Research ; Anaerobic Bacteria – Physiological Aspects ; Anaerobic Bacteria – Genetic Aspects ; Polysaccharides – Research ; RNA – Research
    ISSN: 0021-9193
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 11 October 2016, Vol.113(41), pp.11591-11596
    Description: The functional annotation of transcriptomes and identification of noncoding RNA (ncRNA) classes has been greatly facilitated by the advent of next-generation RNA sequencing which, by reading the nucleotide order of transcripts, theoretically allows the rapid profiling of all transcripts in a cell. However, primary sequence per se is a poor predictor of function, as ncRNAs dramatically vary in length and structure and often lack identifiable motifs. Therefore, to visualize an informative RNA landscape of organisms with potentially new RNA biology that are emerging from microbiome and environmental studies requires the use of more functionally relevant criteria. One such criterion is the association of RNAs with functionally important cognate RNA-binding proteins. Here we analyze the full ensemble of cellular RNAs using gradient profiling by sequencing (Grad-seq) in the bacterial pathogen Salmonella enterica, partitioning its coding and noncoding transcripts based on their network of RNA-protein interactions. In addition to capturing established RNA classes based on their biochemical profiles, the Grad-seq approach enabled the discovery of an overlooked large collective of structured small RNAs that form stable complexes with the conserved protein ProQ. We show that ProQ is an abundant RNA-binding protein with a wide range of ligands and a global influence on Salmonella gene expression. Given its generic ability to chart a functional RNA landscape irrespective of transcript length and sequence diversity, Grad-seq promises to define functional RNA classes and major RNA-binding proteins in both model species and genetically intractable organisms.
    Keywords: Hfq ; Proq ; RNA–Protein Interaction ; Noncoding RNA ; Small RNA ; Bacterial Proteins -- Metabolism ; High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing -- Methods ; RNA, Bacterial -- Metabolism ; RNA-Binding Proteins -- Metabolism ; Salmonella Enterica -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Nucleic acids research, 16 November 2018, Vol.46(20), pp.10969-10982
    Description: Bacterial small RNAs (sRNAs) are a heterogeneous group of post-transcriptional regulators that often act at the heart of large networks. Hundreds of sRNAs have been discovered by genome-wide screens and most of these sRNAs exert their functions by base-pairing with target mRNAs. However, studies addressing the molecular roles of sRNAs have been largely confined to gamma-proteobacteria, such as Escherichia coli. Here we identify and characterize a novel sRNA, ChvR, from the alpha-proteobacterium Caulobacter crescentus. Transcription of chvR is controlled by the conserved two-component system ChvI-ChvG and it is expressed in response to DNA damage, low pH, and growth in minimal medium. Transient over-expression of ChvR in combination with genome-wide transcriptome profiling identified the mRNA of the TonB-dependent receptor ChvT as the sole target of ChvR. Genetic and biochemical analyses showed that ChvR represses ChvT at the post-transcriptional level through direct base-pairing. Fine-mapping of the ChvR-chvT interaction revealed the requirement of two distinct base-pairing sites for full target regulation. Finally, we show that ChvR-controlled repression of chvT is independent of the ubiquitous RNA-chaperone Hfq, and therefore distinct from previously reported mechanisms employed by prototypical bacterial sRNAs. These findings have implications for the mechanism and evolution of sRNA function across bacterial species.
    Keywords: Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial ; Bacterial Proteins -- Genetics ; Caulobacter Crescentus -- Genetics ; Host Factor 1 Protein -- Genetics ; RNA, Bacterial -- Genetics ; RNA, Small Untranslated -- Genetics
    ISSN: 03051048
    E-ISSN: 1362-4962
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Journal of bacteriology, November 2012, Vol.194(21), pp.5864-74
    Description: Hfq is an RNA-binding protein known to regulate a variety of cellular processes by interacting with small RNAs (sRNAs) and mRNAs in prokaryotes. Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is an important opportunistic pathogen affecting primarily hospitalized and immunocompromised hosts. We constructed an hfq deletion mutant (Δhfq) of S. maltophilia and compared the behaviors of wild-type and Δhfq S. maltophilia cells in a variety of assays. This revealed that S. maltophilia Hfq plays a role in biofilm formation and cell motility, as well as susceptibility to antimicrobial agents. Moreover, Hfq is crucial for adhesion to bronchial epithelial cells and is required for the replication of S. maltophilia in macrophages. Differential RNA sequencing analysis (dRNA-seq) of RNA isolated from S. maltophilia wild-type and Δhfq strains showed that Hfq regulates the expression of genes encoding flagellar and fimbrial components, transmembrane proteins, and enzymes involved in different metabolic pathways. Moreover, we analyzed the expression of several sRNAs identified by dRNA-seq in wild-type and Δhfq S. maltophilia cells grown in different conditions on Northern blots. The accumulation of two sRNAs was strongly reduced in the absence of Hfq. Furthermore, based on our dRNA-seq analysis we provide a genome-wide map of transcriptional start sites in S. maltophilia.
    Keywords: Host Factor 1 Protein -- Metabolism ; Molecular Chaperones -- Metabolism ; RNA, Bacterial -- Metabolism ; Stenotrophomonas Maltophilia -- Physiology
    ISSN: 00219193
    E-ISSN: 1098-5530
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Nucleic acids research, 20 June 2017, Vol.45(11), pp.e96
    Description: RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) have been established as core components of several post-transcriptional gene regulation mechanisms. Experimental techniques such as cross-linking and co-immunoprecipitation have enabled the identification of RBPs, RNA-binding domains (RBDs) and their regulatory roles in the eukaryotic species such as human and yeast in large-scale. In contrast, our knowledge of the number and potential diversity of RBPs in bacteria is poorer due to the technical challenges associated with the existing global screening approaches. We introduce APRICOT, a computational pipeline for the sequence-based identification and characterization of proteins using RBDs known from experimental studies. The pipeline identifies functional motifs in protein sequences using position-specific scoring matrices and Hidden Markov Models of the functional domains and statistically scores them based on a series of sequence-based features. Subsequently, APRICOT identifies putative RBPs and characterizes them by several biological properties. Here we demonstrate the application and adaptability of the pipeline on large-scale protein sets, including the bacterial proteome of Escherichia coli. APRICOT showed better performance on various datasets compared to other existing tools for the sequence-based prediction of RBPs by achieving an average sensitivity and specificity of 0.90 and 0.91 respectively. The command-line tool and its documentation are available at https://pypi.python.org/pypi/bio-apricot.
    Keywords: Sequence Analysis, Protein ; Software ; RNA-Binding Proteins -- Chemistry
    ISSN: 03051048
    E-ISSN: 1362-4962
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  • 9
    In: EMBO Journal, 01 September 2017, Vol.36(17), pp.2581-2594
    Description: Genome‐wide transcription studies are revealing an increasing number of “dispersed promoters” that, unlike “focused promoters”, lack well‐conserved sequence motifs and tight regulation. Dispersed promoters are nevertheless marked by well‐defined chromatin structures, suggesting that specific sequence elements must exist in these unregulated promoters. Here, we have analyzed regions of transcription initiation in the eukaryotic parasite in which polymerase transcription initiation occurs over broad regions without distinct promoter motifs and lacks regulation. Using a combination of site‐specific and genome‐wide assays, we identified ‐rich promoters that can drive transcription and promote the targeted deposition of the histone variant H2A.Z in a genomic context‐dependent manner. In addition, upon mapping nucleosome occupancy at high resolution, we find nucleosome positioning to correlate with pol enrichment and gene expression, pointing to a role in maturation. Nucleosome positioning may thus represent a previously unrecognized layer of gene regulation in trypanosomes. Our findings show that even highly dispersed, unregulated promoters contain specific elements that are able to induce transcription and changes in chromatin structure. The lack of recognisable promoters in trypanosomes has limited our understanding of transcriptional control in this important pathogen. Via genome‐wide assays this study shows that transcription initiates broadly on ‐rich elements that control incorporation of activating histone variants. RNA pol II transcription initiates across a 2 kb‐wide region upstream of polycistronic transcription units. GT‐rich sequence elements enriched at transcription start sites can induce transcription and recruit the histone variant H2A.Z. Sites enriched in H2A.Z show increased sensitivity to MNase. Nucleosome occupancy upstream of genes correlates with RNA pol II enrichment and transcript levels. Composition of polyY tract affects nucleosome positioning and transcript levels. While trypanosomes lack classical promoter elements, they initiate transcription broadly over ‐rich sequences that control incorporation of activating histone variants.
    Keywords: Core Promoter ; Histone Variant ; Nucleosome Occupancy ; Trypanosoma Brucei
    ISSN: 0261-4189
    E-ISSN: 1460-2075
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2014, Vol.9(10), p.e110427
    Description: As matchmaker between mRNA and sRNA interactions, the RNA chaperone Hfq plays a key role in riboregulation of many bacteria. Often, the global influence of Hfq on the transcriptome is reflected by substantially altered proteomes and pleiotropic phenotypes in hfq mutants. Using quantitative proteomics and co-immunoprecipitation combined with RNA-sequencing (RIP-seq) of Hfq-bound RNAs, we demonstrate the pervasive role of Hfq in nutrient acquisition, metabolism and motility of the plant pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens. 136 of 2544 proteins identified by iTRAQ (isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation) were affected in the absence of Hfq. Most of them were associated with ABC transporters, general metabolism and motility. RIP-seq of chromosomally encoded Hfq3xFlag revealed 1697 mRNAs and 209 non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) associated with Hfq. 56 ncRNAs were previously undescribed. Interestingly, 55% of the Hfq-bound ncRNAs were encoded antisense (as) to a protein-coding sequence suggesting that A. tumefaciens Hfq plays an important role in asRNA-target interactions. The exclusive enrichment of 296 mRNAs and 31 ncRNAs under virulence conditions further indicates a role for post-transcriptional regulation in A. tumefaciens-mediated plant infection. On the basis of the iTRAQ and RIP-seq data, we assembled a comprehensive model of the Hfq core regulon in A. tumefaciens.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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