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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, 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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  • 3
    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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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: The Plant cell, January 2012, Vol.24(1), pp.123-36
    Description: Gene expression in plastids of higher plants is dependent on two different transcription machineries, a plastid-encoded bacterial-type RNA polymerase (PEP) and a nuclear-encoded phage-type RNA polymerase (NEP), which recognize distinct types of promoters. The division of labor between PEP and NEP during plastid development and in mature chloroplasts is unclear due to a lack of comprehensive information on promoter usage. Here, we present a thorough investigation into the distribution of PEP and NEP promoters within the plastid genome of barley (Hordeum vulgare). Using a novel differential RNA sequencing approach, which discriminates between primary and processed transcripts, we obtained a genome-wide map of transcription start sites in plastids of mature first leaves. PEP-lacking plastids of the albostrians mutant allowed for the unambiguous identification of NEP promoters. We observed that the chloroplast genome contains many more promoters than genes. According to our data, most genes (including genes coding for photosynthesis proteins) have both PEP and NEP promoters. We also detected numerous transcription start sites within operons, indicating transcriptional uncoupling of genes in polycistronic gene clusters. Moreover, we mapped many transcription start sites in intergenic regions and opposite to annotated genes, demonstrating the existence of numerous noncoding RNA candidates.
    Keywords: Chloroplasts -- Genetics ; DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases -- Metabolism ; Hordeum -- Enzymology ; Plastids -- Enzymology ; RNA, Untranslated -- Genetics
    ISSN: 10404651
    E-ISSN: 1532-298X
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