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  • Article  (36)
  • Papenfort, Kai  (36)
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  • Article  (36)
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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 25 August 2015, Vol.112(34), pp.E4772-81
    Description: Horizontal gene transfer via plasmid conjugation is a major driving force in microbial evolution but constitutes a complex process that requires synchronization with the physiological state of the host bacteria. Although several host transcription factors are known to regulate plasmid-borne transfer genes, RNA-based regulatory circuits for host-plasmid communication remain unknown. We describe a posttranscriptional mechanism whereby the Hfq-dependent small RNA, RprA, inhibits transfer of pSLT, the virulence plasmid of Salmonella enterica. RprA employs two separate seed-pairing domains to activate the mRNAs of both the sigma-factor σ(S) and the RicI protein, a previously uncharacterized membrane protein here shown to inhibit conjugation. Transcription of ricI requires σ(S) and, together, RprA and σ(S) orchestrate a coherent feedforward loop with AND-gate logic to tightly control the activation of RicI synthesis. RicI interacts with the conjugation apparatus protein TraV and limits plasmid transfer under membrane-damaging conditions. To our knowledge, this study reports the first small RNA-controlled feedforward loop relying on posttranscriptional activation of two independent targets and an unexpected role of the conserved RprA small RNA in controlling extrachromosomal DNA transfer.
    Keywords: Hfq ; Rpra ; Feedforward Control ; Plasmid Conjugation ; Srna ; Chromosomes, Bacterial ; DNA, Bacterial -- Genetics ; RNA, Bacterial -- Genetics ; Salmonella -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 27 March 2012, Vol.109(13), pp.E757-64
    Description: SgrS RNA is a model for the large class of Hfq-associated small RNAs that act to posttranscriptionally regulate bacterial mRNAs. The function of SgrS is well-characterized in nonpathogenic Escherichia coli, where it was originally shown to counteract glucose-phosphate stress by acting as a repressor of the ptsG mRNA, which encodes the major glucose transporter. We have discovered additional SgrS targets in Salmonella Typhimurium, a pathogen related to E. coli that recently acquired one-quarter of all genes by horizontal gene transfer. We show that the conserved short seed region of SgrS that recognizes ptsG was recruited to target the Salmonella-specific sopD mRNA of a secreted virulence protein. The SgrS-sopD interaction is exceptionally selective; we find that sopD2 mRNA, whose gene arose from sopD duplication during Salmonella evolution, is deaf to SgrS because of a nonproductive G-U pair in the potential SgrS-sopD2 RNA duplex vs. G-C in SgrS-sopD. In other words, SgrS discriminates the two virulence factor mRNAs at the level of a single hydrogen bond. Our study suggests that bacterial pathogens use their large suites of conserved Hfq-associated regulators to integrate horizontally acquired genes into existing posttranscriptional networks, just as conserved transcription factors are recruited to tame foreign genes at the DNA level. The results graphically illustrate the importance of the seed regions of bacterial small RNAs to select new targets with high fidelity and suggest that target predictions must consider all or none decisions by individual seed nucleotides.
    Keywords: Phylogeny ; Base Pairing -- Genetics ; Gene Transfer, Horizontal -- Genetics ; RNA, Bacterial -- Genetics ; Salmonella -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 02 August 2011, Vol.108(31), pp.12875-80
    Description: The Escherichia coli σ(E) envelope stress response monitors and repairs the outer membrane, a function central to the life of Gram-negative bacteria. The σ(E) stress response was characterized as a single-tier activation network comprised of ~100 genes, including the MicA and RybB noncoding sRNAs. These highly expressed sRNAs were thought to carry out the specialized function of halting de novo synthesis of several abundant porins when envelope homeostasis was perturbed. Using a systematic target profiling and validation approach we discovered that MicA and RybB are each global mRNA repressors of both distinct and shared targets, and that the two sRNAs constitute a posttranscriptional repression arm whose regulatory scope rivals that of the protein-based σ(E) activation arm. Intriguingly, porin mRNAs constitute only ~1/3 of all targets and new nonporin targets predict roles for MicA and RybB in crosstalk with other regulatory responses. This work also provides an example of evolutionarily unrelated sRNAs that are coinduced and bind the same targets, but at different sites. Our finding that expression of either MicA or RybB sRNA protects the cell from the loss of viability experienced when σ(E) activity is inadequate illustrates the importance of the posttranscriptional repression arm of the response. σ(E) is a paradigm of a single-tier stress response with a clear division of labor in which highly expressed noncoding RNAs (MicA, RybB) endow a transcriptional factor intrinsically restricted to gene activation (σ(E)) with the opposite repressor function.
    Keywords: Escherichia Coli Proteins -- Genetics ; RNA, Small Untranslated -- Genetics ; Regulon -- Genetics ; Sigma Factor -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 23 November 2010, Vol.107(47), pp.20435-40
    Description: The abundant class of bacterial Hfq-associated small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) parallels animal microRNAs in their ability to control multiple genes at the posttranscriptional level by short and imperfect base pairing. In contrast to the universal length and seed pairing mechanism of microRNAs, the sRNAs are heterogeneous in size and structure, and how they regulate multiple targets is not well understood. This paper provides evidence that a 5' located sRNA domain is a critical element for the control of a large posttranscriptional regulon. We show that the conserved 5' end of RybB sRNA recognizes multiple mRNAs of Salmonella outer membrane proteins by ≥7-bp Watson-Crick pairing. When fused to an unrelated sRNA, the 5' domain is sufficient to guide target mRNA degradation and maintain σ(E)-dependent envelope homeostasis. RybB sites in mRNAs are often conserved and flanked by 3' adenosine. They are found in a wide sequence window ranging from the upstream untranslated region to the deep coding sequence, indicating that some targets might be repressed at the level of translation, whereas others are repressed primarily by mRNA destabilization. Autonomous 5' domains seem more common in sRNAs than appreciated and might improve the design of synthetic RNA regulators.
    Keywords: Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins -- Metabolism ; Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial -- Genetics ; RNA, Messenger -- Metabolism ; Regulatory Sequences, Ribonucleic Acid -- Genetics ; Regulon -- Genetics ; Salmonella -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 10 September 2013, Vol.110(37), pp.E3487-96
    Description: Small RNAs (sRNAs) constitute a large and heterogeneous class of bacterial gene expression regulators. Much like eukaryotic microRNAs, these sRNAs typically target multiple mRNAs through short seed pairing, thereby acting as global posttranscriptional regulators. In some bacteria, evidence for hundreds to possibly more than 1,000 different sRNAs has been obtained by transcriptome sequencing. However, the experimental identification of possible targets and, therefore, their confirmation as functional regulators of gene expression has remained laborious. Here, we present a strategy that integrates phylogenetic information to predict sRNA targets at the genomic scale and reconstructs regulatory networks upon functional enrichment and network analysis (CopraRNA, for Comparative Prediction Algorithm for sRNA Targets). Furthermore, CopraRNA precisely predicts the sRNA domains for target recognition and interaction. When applied to several model sRNAs, CopraRNA revealed additional targets and functions for the sRNAs CyaR, FnrS, RybB, RyhB, SgrS, and Spot42. Moreover, the mRNAs gdhA, lrp, marA, nagZ, ptsI, sdhA, and yobF-cspC were suggested as regulatory hubs targeted by up to seven different sRNAs. The verification of many previously undetected targets by CopraRNA, even for extensively investigated sRNAs, demonstrates its advantages and shows that CopraRNA-based analyses can compete with experimental target prediction approaches. A Web interface allows high-confidence target prediction and efficient classification of bacterial sRNAs.
    Keywords: E. Coli ; RNA–RNA Interaction ; Regulatory RNA ; RNA, Bacterial -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Cell, 11 April 2013, Vol.153(2), pp.426-437
    Description: Glucose homeostasis is strictly controlled in all domains of life. Bacteria that are unable to balance intracellular sugar levels and deal with potentially toxic phosphosugars cease growth and risk being outcompeted. Here, we identify the conserved haloacid dehalogenase (HAD)-like enzyme YigL as the previously hypothesized phosphatase for detoxification of phosphosugars and reveal that its synthesis is activated by an Hfq-dependent small RNA in . We show that the glucose-6-P-responsive small RNA SgrS activates YigL synthesis in a translation-independent fashion by the selective stabilization of a decay intermediate of the dicistronic messenger RNA (mRNA). Intriguingly, the major endoribonuclease RNase E, previously known to function together with small RNAs to degrade mRNA targets, is also essential for this process of mRNA activation. The exploitation of and targeted interference with regular RNA turnover described here may constitute a general route for small RNAs to rapidly activate both coding and noncoding genes. ► The bacterial small RNA SgrS posttranscriptionally activates the synthesis of YigL ► YigL is the previously hypothesized phosphatase that prevents phosphosugar toxicity ► SgrS activates yigL by a translation-independent mRNA-stabilization mechanism ► SgrS stabilizes an intermediate in the yigL mRNA decay pathway YigL, a long-sought bacterial phosphatase, regulates glucose-6-phosphate levels. A small regulatory RNA upregulates YigL synthesis by base pairing with the coding sequence of the preceding gene to interfere with endonucleolytic yigL mRNA decay.
    Keywords: Biology
    ISSN: 0092-8674
    E-ISSN: 1097-4172
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  • 7
    In: Nucleic Acids Research, 2016, Vol. 44(21), pp.10406-10422
    Description: Model enteric bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica express hundreds of small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs), targets for most of which are yet unknown. Some sRNAs are remarkably well conserved, indicating that they serve cellular functions that go beyond the necessities of a single species. One of these ‘core sRNAs’ of largely unknown function is the abundant ∼100-nucleotide SdsR sRNA which is transcribed by the general stress σ-factor, σ S and accumulates in stationary phase. In Salmonella , SdsR was known to inhibit the synthesis of the species-specific porin, OmpD. However, sdsR genes are present in almost all enterobacterial genomes, suggesting that additional, conserved targets of this sRNA must exist. Here, we have combined SdsR pulse-expression with whole genome transcriptomics to discover 20 previously unknown candidate targets of SdsR which include mRNAs coding for physiologically important regulators such as the carbon utilization regulator, CRP, the nucleoid-associated chaperone, StpA and the antibiotic resistance transporter, TolC. Processing of SdsR by RNase E results in two cellular SdsR variants with distinct target spectra. While the overall physiological role of this orphan core sRNA remains to be fully understood, the new SdsR targets present valuable leads to determine sRNA functions in resting bacteria.
    Keywords: Chemistry ; Anatomy & Physiology;
    ISSN: 0305-1048
    E-ISSN: 1362-4962
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  • 8
    In: Molecular Microbiology, November 2011, Vol.82(4), pp.797-806
    Description: Founded on ground‐breaking discoveries such as the operon model by Jacob and Monod more than 50 years ago, molecular microbiology is now one of the most vibrant disciplines of the life sciences. The first Mol Micro Meeting Würzburg (‘M3W’) hosted more than 160 scientists from 14 countries to exchange their latest ideas in this field of research. Divided into the four main sessions Gene Regulation, Pathogenesis, Microbial Cell Biology and Signalling, the conference provided insight into current advances and future goals and challenges.
    Keywords: Microbiology ; Life Sciences ; Scientists ; Bacteria;
    ISSN: 0950-382X
    E-ISSN: 1365-2958
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  • 9
    In: EMBO Journal, 17 October 2012, Vol.31(20), pp.4005-4019
    Description: The small RNAs associated with the protein Hfq constitute one of the largest classes of post‐transcriptional regulators known to date. Most previously investigated members of this class are encoded by conserved free‐standing genes. Here, deep sequencing of Hfq‐bound transcripts from multiple stages of growth of revealed a plethora of new small RNA species from within mRNA loci, including DapZ, which overlaps with the 3′ region of the biosynthetic gene, . Synthesis of the DapZ small RNA is independent of DapB protein synthesis, and is controlled by HilD, the master regulator of invasion genes. DapZ carries a short G/U‐rich domain similar to that of the globally acting GcvB small RNA, and uses GcvB‐like seed pairing to repress translation of the major ABC transporters, DppA and OppA. This exemplifies double functional output from an mRNA locus by the production of both a protein and an Hfq‐dependent ‐acting RNA. Our atlas of Hfq targets suggests that the 3′ regions of mRNA genes constitute a rich reservoir that provides the Hfq network with new regulatory small RNAs. Deep sequencing of Hfq‐binding RNAs isolated from at different growth stages reveals that the 3′ UTR of bacterial mRNAs are a rich source of regulatory small RNAs which modulate gene expression in trans.
    Keywords: Abc Transporter ; Dapz ; Gcvb ; Hfq ; 3′ Utr
    ISSN: 0261-4189
    E-ISSN: 1460-2075
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  • 10
    In: EMBO Journal, 13 November 2013, Vol.32(22), pp.2963-2979
    Description: Small RNAs use a diversity of well‐characterized mechanisms to repress mRNAs, but how they activate gene expression at the mRNA level remains not well understood. The predominant activation mechanism of Hfq‐associated small RNAs has been translational control whereby base pairing with the target prevents the formation of an intrinsic inhibitory structure in the mRNA and promotes translation initiation. Here, we report a translation‐independent mechanism whereby the small RNA RydC selectively activates the longer of two isoforms of mRNA (encoding cyclopropane fatty acid synthase) in . Target activation is achieved through seed pairing of the pseudoknot‐exposed, conserved 5′ end of RydC to an upstream region of the mRNA. The seed pairing stabilizes the messenger, likely by interfering directly with RNase E‐mediated decay in the 5′ untranslated region. Intriguingly, this mechanism is generic such that the activation is equally achieved by seed pairing of unrelated small RNAs, suggesting that this mechanism may be utilized in the design of RNA‐controlled synthetic circuits. Physiologically, RydC is the first small RNA known to regulate membrane stability. The small RNA RydC stabilizes target mRNAs in a translation‐independent manner through base pairing to the 5′UTR, blocking RNase E access. Cyclopropane fatty acid synthase is a target for RydC, providing the first link between sRNA regulation and membrane biosynthesis in bacteria.
    Keywords: Fatty Acid Synthesis ; Hfq ; Mrna Activation ; Noncoding Rna ; Small Rna
    ISSN: 0261-4189
    E-ISSN: 1460-2075
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