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Berlin Brandenburg

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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, 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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