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  • 1
    In: mBio, 2017, Vol.8(4)
    Description: ABSTRACT L7Ae is a universal archaeal protein that recognizes and stabilizes kink-turn (k-turn) motifs in RNA substrates. These structural motifs are widespread in nature and are found in many functional RNA species, including ribosomal RNAs. Synthetic biology approaches utilize L7Ae/k-turn interactions to control gene expression in eukaryotes. Here, we present results of comprehensive RNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (RIP-Seq) analysis of genomically tagged L7Ae from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius . A large set of interacting noncoding RNAs was identified. In addition, several mRNAs, including the l7ae transcript, were found to contain k-turn motifs that facilitate L7Ae binding. In vivo studies showed that L7Ae autoregulates the translation of its mRNA by binding to a k-turn motif present in the 5′ untranslated region (UTR). A green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter system was established in Escherichia coli and verified conservation of L7Ae-mediated feedback regulation in Archaea . Mobility shift assays confirmed binding to a k-turn in the transcript of nop5-fibrillarin , suggesting that the expression of all C/D box sRNP core proteins is regulated by L7Ae. These studies revealed that L7Ae-mediated gene regulation evolved in archaeal organisms, generating new tools for the modulation of synthetic gene circuits in bacteria. IMPORTANCE L7Ae is an essential archaeal protein that is known to structure ribosomal RNAs and small RNAs (sRNAs) by binding to their kink-turn motifs. Here, we utilized RIP-Seq methodology to achieve a first global analysis of RNA substrates for L7Ae. Several novel interactions with noncoding RNA molecules (e.g., with the universal signal recognition particle RNA) were discovered. In addition, L7Ae was found to bind to mRNAs, including its own transcript’s 5′ untranslated region. This feedback-loop control is conserved in most archaea and was incorporated into a reporter system that was utilized to control gene expression in bacteria. These results demonstrate that L7Ae-mediated gene regulation evolved originally in archaeal organisms. The feedback-controlled reporter gene system can easily be adapted for synthetic biology approaches that require strict gene expression control.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Archaea ; Rna Binding Proteins ; Rna Structure ; Gene Regulation
    E-ISSN: 2150-7511
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: mBio, 08/29/2014, Vol.5(4)
    Description: Transcription start sites (TSSs) lying inside annotated genes, on the same or opposite strand, have been observed in diverse bacteria, but the function of these unexpected transcripts is unclear. Here, we use the metal-reducing bacterium Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 and its relatives to study the evolutionary conservation of unexpected TSSs. Using high-resolution tiling microarrays and 5'-end RNA sequencing, we identified 2,531 TSSs in S. oneidensis MR-1, of which 18% were located inside coding sequences (CDSs). Comparative transcriptome analysis with seven additional Shewanella species revealed that the majority (76%) of the TSSs within the upstream regions of annotated genes (gTSSs) were conserved. Thirty percent of the TSSs that were inside genes and on the sense strand (iTSSs) were also conserved. Sequence analysis around these iTSSs showed conserved promoter motifs, suggesting that many iTSS are under purifying selection. Furthermore, conserved iTSSs are enriched for regulatory motifs, suggesting that they are regulated, and they tend to eliminate polar effects, which confirms that they are functional. In contrast, the transcription of antisense TSSs located inside CDSs (aTSSs) was significantly less likely to be conserved (22%). However, aTSSs whose transcription was conserved often have conserved promoter motifs and drive the expression of nearby genes. Overall, our findings demonstrate that some internal TSSs are conserved and drive protein expression despite their unusual locations, but the majority are not conserved and may reflect noisy initiation of transcription rather than a biological function. Importance: The first step of gene expression is the initiation of transcription from promoters, which have been traditionally thought to be located upstream of genes. Recently, studies showed that in diverse bacteria, promoters are often located inside genes. It has not been clear if these unexpected promoters are important to the organism or if they result from transcriptional noise. Here, we identify and examine promoters in eight related bacterial species. Promoters that lie within genes on the sense strand are often conserved as locations and in their sequences. Furthermore, these promoters often affect the bacterium's growth. Thus, many of these unexpected promoters are likely functional. Fewer promoters that lie within genes on the antisense strand are conserved, but the conserved ones seem to drive the expression of nearby genes.
    Keywords: Biology;
    ISSN: mBio
    E-ISSN: 2150-7511
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