Cell, 22 September 2016, Vol.167(1), pp.111-121.e13
Bacterial small RNAs (sRNAs) have been implicated in various aspects of post-transcriptional gene regulation. Here, we demonstrate that sRNAs also act at the level of transcription termination. We use the gene, which encodes a general stress sigma factor σ , as a model system, and show that sRNAs DsrA, ArcZ, and RprA bind the 5′UTR to suppress premature Rho-dependent transcription termination, both in vitro and in vivo. sRNA-mediated antitermination markedly stimulates transcription of during the transition to the stationary phase of growth, thereby facilitating a rapid adjustment of bacteria to global metabolic changes. Next generation RNA sequencing and bioinformatic analysis indicate that Rho functions as a global “attenuator” of transcription, acting at the 5′UTR of hundreds of bacterial genes, and that its suppression by sRNAs is a widespread mode of bacterial gene regulation. Bacterial small RNAs balance the Rho-dependent termination pathway to prevent premature transcription termination, extending the role of these RNA regulators beyond post-transcriptional control.
Transcription Termination ; Antitermination ; Rho ; Srna ; Sigma Factor ; Stress Response ; Biology
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