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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
    In: Nature, 2011, Vol.471(7340), p.602
    Description: CRISPR/Cas systems constitute a widespread class of immunity systems that protect bacteria and archaea against phages and plasmids, and commonly use repeat/spacer-derived short crRNAs to silence foreign nucleic acids in a sequence-specific manner. Although the maturation of crRNAs represents a key event in CRISPR activation, the responsible endoribonucleases (CasE, Cas6, Csy4) are missing in many CRISPR/Cas subtypes. Here, differential RNA sequencing of the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes uncovered tracrRNA, a trans -encoded small RNA with 24 nucleotide complementarity to the repeat regions of crRNA precursor transcripts. We show that tracrRNA directs the maturation of crRNAs by the activities of the widely conserved endogenous RNase III and the CRISPR-associated Csn1 protein; all these components are essential to protect S. pyogenes against prophage-derived DNA. Our study reveals a novel pathway of small guide RNA maturation and the first example of a host factor (RNase III) required for bacterial RNA-mediated immunity against invaders.
    Keywords: Article;
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 14764687
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  • 3
    In: Molecular Microbiology, April 2012, Vol.84(1), pp.1-5
    Description: The transcription factor CsgD governing the production of curli fimbriae and cellulose is a key player in the complex regulatory circuit that decides whether form biofilms. The gene itself is tightly controlled at the level of transcription by a large array of DNA‐binding proteins, but what happens after transcription is less understood. In this issue of , Jørgensen (2012), Mika (2012) and Thomason (2012) report on small RNAs (McaS, RprA and GcvB) that together with the RNA‐chaperone Hfq regulate the mRNAs of and other biofilm genes, and illustrate the burgeoning concept that the 5′ region of bacterial mRNA serves as a hub for sRNA‐mediated signal integration at the post‐transcriptional level.
    Keywords: Transcription (Genetics) ; Proteins ; Messenger Rna ; Genes ; Cellulose;
    ISSN: 0950-382X
    E-ISSN: 1365-2958
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2012, Vol.109(12), pp.4621-4626
    Description: The conserved RNA-binding protein Hfq and its associated small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) are increasingly recognized as the players of a large network of posttranscriptional control of gene expression in Gram-negative bacteria. The role of Hfq in this network is to facilitate base pairing between sRNAs and their trans-encoded target mRNAs. Although the number of known sRNA–mRNA interactions has grown steadily, cellular factors that influence Hfq, the mediator of these interactions, have remained unknown. We report that RelA, a protein long known as the central regulator of the bacterial-stringent response, acts on Hfq and thereby affects the physiological activity of RyhB sRNA as a regulator of iron homeostasis. RyhB requires RelA in vivo to arrest growth during iron depletion and to down-regulate a subset of its target mRNAs (fdoG, nuoA, and sodA), whereas the sodB and sdhC targets are barely affected by RelA. In vitro studies with recombinant proteins show that RelA enhances multimerization of Hfq monomers and stimulates Hfq binding of RyhB and other sRNAs. Hfq from polysomes extracted from wild-type cells binds RyhB in vitro, whereas Hfq from polysomes of a relA mutant strain shows no binding. We propose that, by increasing the level of the hexameric form of Hfq, RelA enables binding of RNAs whose affinity for Hfq is low. Our results suggest that, under specific conditions and/or environments, Hfq concentrations are limiting for RNA binding, which thereby provides an opportunity for cellular proteins such as RelA to impact sRNA-mediated responses by modulating the activity of Hfq. ; p. 4621-4626.
    Keywords: Polyribosomes ; In Vitro Studies ; Messenger Rna ; Gram-Negative Bacteria ; Gene Expression ; Recombinant Proteins
    ISSN: 0027-8424
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 27 June 2017, Vol.114(26), pp.6824-6829
    Description: The functions of many bacterial RNA-binding proteins remain obscure because of a lack of knowledge of their cellular ligands. Although well-studied cold-shock protein A (CspA) family members are induced and function at low temperature, others are highly expressed in infection-relevant conditions. Here, we have profiled transcripts bound in vivo by the CspA family members of serovar Typhimurium to link the constitutively expressed CspC and CspE proteins with virulence pathways. Phenotypic assays in vitro demonstrated a crucial role for these proteins in membrane stress, motility, and biofilm formation. Moreover, double deletion of and fully attenuates in systemic mouse infection. In other words, the RNA ligand-centric approach taken here overcomes a problematic molecular redundancy of CspC and CspE that likely explains why these proteins have evaded selection in previous virulence factor screens in animals. Our results highlight RNA-binding proteins as regulators of pathogenicity and potential targets of antimicrobial therapy. They also suggest that globally acting RNA-binding proteins are more common in bacteria than currently appreciated.
    Keywords: RNA-Binding Protein ; Salmonella ; Bacterial Pathogenesis ; Cold-Shock Protein ; Stress Response ; Bacterial Proteins ; Cold Shock Proteins and Peptides ; Heat-Shock Proteins ; RNA-Binding Proteins ; Salmonella Infections ; Salmonella Typhimurium ; Virulence Factors
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 6
    In: Molecular Microbiology, December 2010, Vol.78(6), pp.1327-1331
    Description: Although most bacterial small RNAs act to repress target mRNAs, some also activate messengers. The predominant mode of activation has been seen in ‘anti‐antisense’ regulation whereby a small RNA prevents the formation of an inhibitory 5′ mRNA structure that otherwise impairs translational initiation and protein synthesis. The translational activation might also stabilize the target yet this was considered a secondary effect in the examples known thus far. Two recent papers in investigate post‐transcriptional activation of collagenase mRNA by VR‐RNA, and streptokinase mRNA by FasX RNA, to suggest that small RNAs exert positive regulation of virulence genes primarily at the level of mRNA stabilization.
    Keywords: Protein Synthesis ; Messenger Rna;
    ISSN: 0950-382X
    E-ISSN: 1365-2958
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 2011, Vol.6(3), p.e17296
    Description: P-bodies are dynamic aggregates of RNA and proteins involved in several post-transcriptional regulation processes. P-bodies have been shown to play important roles in regulating viral infection, whereas their interplay with bacterial pathogens, specifically intracellular bacteria that extensively manipulate host cell pathways, remains unknown. Here, we report that Salmonella infection induces P-body disassembly in a cell type-specific manner, and independently of previously characterized pathways such as inhibition of host cell RNA synthesis or microRNA-mediated gene silencing. We show that the Salmonella -induced P-body disassembly depends on the activation of the SPI-2 encoded type 3 secretion system, and that the secreted effector protein SpvB plays a major role in this process. P-body disruption is also induced by the related pathogen, Shigella flexneri , arguing that this might be a new mechanism by which intracellular bacterial pathogens subvert host cell function.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology ; Medicine ; Infectious Diseases ; Microbiology ; Molecular Biology ; Cell Biology
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 8
    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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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Science (New York, N.Y.), 07 December 2018, Vol.362(6419), pp.1156-1160
    Description: Many bacterial infections are hard to treat and tend to relapse, possibly due to the presence of antibiotic-tolerant persisters. In vitro, persister cells appear to be dormant. After uptake of species by macrophages, nongrowing persisters also occur, but their physiological state is poorly understood. In this work, we show that persisters arising during macrophage infection maintain a metabolically active state. Persisters reprogram macrophages by means of effectors secreted by the pathogenicity island 2 type 3 secretion system. These effectors dampened proinflammatory innate immune responses and induced anti-inflammatory macrophage polarization. Such reprogramming allowed nongrowing cells to survive for extended periods in their host. Persisters undermining host immune defenses might confer an advantage to the pathogen during relapse once antibiotic pressure is relieved.
    Keywords: Drug Resistance, Bacterial ; Host-Pathogen Interactions -- Immunology ; Macrophages -- Immunology ; Salmonella Infections -- Drug Therapy ; Salmonella Typhimurium -- Metabolism ; Type III Secretion Systems -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00368075
    E-ISSN: 1095-9203
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: PloS one, 2016, Vol.11(7), pp.e0159948
    Description: Matter turnover in soil is tightly linked to soil structure which governs the heterogeneous distribution of habitats, reaction sites and pathways in soil. Thereby, the temporal dynamics of soil structure alteration is deemed to be important for essential ecosystem functions of soil but very little is known about it. A major reason for this knowledge gap is the lack of methods to study soil structure turnover directly at microscopic scales. Here we devise a conceptual approach and an image processing workflow to study soil structure turnover by labeling some initial state of soil structure with small garnet particles and tracking their fate with X-ray microtomography. The particles adhere to aggregate boundaries at the beginning of the experiment but gradually change their position relative to the nearest pore as structure formation progresses and pores are destructed or newly formed. A new metric based on the contact distances between particles and pores is proposed that allows for a direct quantification of soil structure turnover rates. The methodology is tested for a case study about soil compaction of a silty loam soil during stepwise increase of bulk density (ρ = {1.1, 1.3, 1.5} g/cm3). We demonstrate that the analysis of mean contact distances provides genuinely new insights about changing diffusion pathways that cannot be inferred neither from conventional pore space attributes (porosity, mean pore size, pore connectivity) nor from deformation analysis with digital image correlation. This structure labeling approach to quantify soil structure turnover provides a direct analogy to stable isotope labeling for the analysis of matter turnover and can be readily combined with each other.
    Keywords: X-Ray Microtomography ; Soil -- Chemistry
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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