Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 6 August 2013, Vol.110(32), pp.13132-13137
Riboswitches are ligand-binding elements located in 5' untranslated regions of messenger RNAs, which regulate expression of downstream genes. In Listeria monocytogenes, a vitamin B₁₂-binding (B₁₂) riboswitch was identified, not upstream of a gene but downstream, and antisense to the adjacent gene, pocR, suggesting it might regulate pocR in a nonclassical manner. In Salmonella entérica, PocR is a transcription factor that is activated by 1,2-propanediol, and subsequently activates expression of the pdu genes. The pdu genes mediate propanediol catabolism and are implicated in pathogenesis. As enzymes involved in propanediol catabolism require B₁₂ as a cofactor, we hypothesized that the Listeria B₁₂ riboswitch might be involved in pocR regulation. Here we demonstrate that the B₁₂ riboswitch is transcribed as part of a noncoding antisense RNA, herein named AspocR. In the presence of B₁₂, the riboswitch induces transcriptional termination, causing aspocR to be transcribed as a short transcript. In contrast, in the absence of B₁₂, aspocR is transcribed as a long antisense RNA, which inhibits pocR expression. Regulation by AspocR ensures that pocR, and consequently the pdu genes, are maximally expressed only when both propanediol and B₁₂ are present. Strikingly, AspocR can inhibit pocR expression in trans, suggesting it acts through a direct interaction with pocR mRNA. Together, this study demonstrates how pocR and the pdu genes can be regulated by B₁₂ in bacteria and extends the classical definition of riboswitches from elements governing solely the expression of mRNAs to a wider role in controlling transcription of noncoding RNAs.
Physical sciences -- Chemistry -- Chemical compounds ; Biological sciences -- Biology -- Genetics ; Physical sciences -- Chemistry -- Chemical compounds ; Biological sciences -- Biology -- Microbiology ; Physical sciences -- Chemistry -- Chemical compounds ; Biological sciences -- Biology -- Genetics ; Biological sciences -- Biology -- Genetics ; Biological sciences -- Biology -- Microbiology ; Biological sciences -- Biology -- Genetics ; Biological sciences -- Biology -- Microbiology
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