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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: PLoS Genetics, 2012, Vol.8(6), p.e1002782
    Description: RNA turnover plays an important role in both virulence and adaptation to stress in the Gram-positive human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus . However, the molecular players and mechanisms involved in these processes are poorly understood. Here, we explored the functions of S. aureus endoribonuclease III (RNase III), a member of the ubiquitous family of double-strand-specific endoribonucleases. To define genomic transcripts that are bound and processed by RNase III, we performed deep sequencing on cDNA libraries generated from RNAs that were co-immunoprecipitated with wild-type RNase III or two different cleavage-defective mutant variants in vivo . Several newly identified RNase III targets were validated by independent experimental methods. We identified various classes of structured RNAs as RNase III substrates and demonstrated that this enzyme is involved in the maturation of rRNAs and tRNAs, regulates the turnover of mRNAs and non-coding RNAs, and autoregulates its synthesis by cleaving within the coding region of its own mRNA. Moreover, we identified a positive effect of RNase III on protein synthesis based on novel mechanisms. RNase III–mediated cleavage in the 5′ untranslated region (5′UTR) enhanced the stability and translation of cspA mRNA, which encodes the major cold-shock protein. Furthermore, RNase III cleaved overlapping 5′UTRs of divergently transcribed genes to generate leaderless mRNAs, which constitutes a novel way to co-regulate neighboring genes. In agreement with recent findings, low abundance antisense RNAs covering 44% of the annotated genes were captured by co-immunoprecipitation with RNase III mutant proteins. Thus, in addition to gene regulation, RNase III is associated with RNA quality control of pervasive transcription. Overall, this study illustrates the complexity of post-transcriptional regulation mediated by RNase III. ; Control of mRNA stability is crucial for bacteria to survive and rapidly adapt to environmental changes and stress conditions. The molecular players and the degradation pathways involved in these adaptive processes are poorly understood in . The universally conserved double-strand-specific endoribonuclease III (RNase III) in is known to repress the synthesis of several virulence factors and was recently implicated in genome-wide mRNA processing mediated by antisense transcripts. We present here the first global map of direct RNase III targets in . Deep sequencing was used to identify RNAs associated with epitope-tagged wild-type RNase III and two catalytically impaired but binding-competent mutant proteins . Experimental validation revealed an unexpected variety of structured RNA transcripts as novel RNase III substrates. In addition to rRNA operon maturation, autoregulation, degradation of structured RNAs, and antisense regulation, we propose novel mechanisms by which RNase III increases mRNA translation. Overall, this study shows that RNase III has a broad function in gene regulation of . We can now address more specifically the roles of this universally conserved enzyme in gene regulation in response to stress and during host infection.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology ; Genetics And Genomics ; Microbiology
    ISSN: 1553-7390
    E-ISSN: 1553-7404
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: 2013, Vol.9(5), p.e1003495
    Description: Campylobacter jejuni is currently the leading cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans. Comparison of multiple Campylobacter strains revealed a high genetic and phenotypic diversity. However, little is known about differences in transcriptome organization, gene expression, and small RNA (sRNA) repertoires. Here we present the first comparative primary transcriptome analysis based on the differential RNA–seq (dRNA–seq) of four C. jejuni isolates. Our approach includes a novel, generic method for the automated annotation of transcriptional start sites (TSS), which allowed us to provide genome-wide promoter maps in the analyzed strains. These global TSS maps are refined through the integration of a SuperGenome approach that allows for a comparative TSS annotation by mapping RNA–seq data of multiple strains into a common coordinate system derived from a whole-genome alignment. Considering the steadily increasing amount of RNA–seq studies, our automated TSS annotation will not only facilitate transcriptome annotation for a wider range of pro- and eukaryotes but can also be adapted for the analysis among different growth or stress conditions. Our comparative dRNA–seq analysis revealed conservation of most TSS, but also single-nucleotide-polymorphisms (SNP) in promoter regions, which lead to strain-specific transcriptional output. Furthermore, we identified strain-specific sRNA repertoires that could contribute to differential gene regulation among strains. In addition, we identified a novel minimal CRISPR-system in Campylobacter of the type-II CRISPR subtype, which relies on the host factor RNase III and a trans-encoded sRNA for maturation of crRNAs. This minimal system of Campylobacter , which seems active in only some strains, employs a unique maturation pathway, since the crRNAs are transcribed from individual promoters in the upstream repeats and thereby minimize the requirements for the maturation machinery. Overall, our study provides new insights into strain-specific transcriptome organization and sRNAs, and reveals genes that could modulate phenotypic variation among strains despite high conservation at the DNA level. ; Many species have evolved into diverse strains with phenotypic and genotypic variations that facilitate adaptation to different ecological niches and, in the case of pathogens, to different hosts. Whereas comparison of genome sequences reveals differences and similarities among strains, the consequences of genomic variations can be tracked by studying the functional output from the genome. RNA sequencing has been revolutionizing transcriptome analyses of both pro- and eukaryotes. However, the bioinformatics-based analysis is still lagging behind, and transcriptome features are often manually annotated, which is laborious and time-consuming. This is even more compounded for the analyses of multiple strains. Here we compared the primary transcriptomes of four isolates of , the leading cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans, and provide genome-wide transcriptional start site (TSS) maps using a novel automated annotation method. Our comparative RNA–seq showed that most TSS are conserved in multiple strains, but we also observed SNP–dependent promoter usage. Furthermore, we identified a novel minimal RNA–based CRISPR immune system as well as strain-specific small RNA repertoires. Our automated, comparative TSS annotation will facilitate and improve transcriptome annotation for a wider range of organisms and provides insights into the contribution of transcriptome differences to phenotypic variation among closely related species.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology
    ISSN: 1553-7390
    E-ISSN: 1553-7404
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: 2015, Vol.11(3), p.e1005087
    Description: One hallmark of pathogenic yersiniae is their ability to rapidly adjust their life-style and pathogenesis upon host entry. In order to capture the range, magnitude and complexity of the underlying gene control mechanisms we used comparative RNA-seq-based transcriptomic profiling of the enteric pathogen Y . pseudotuberculosis under environmental and infection-relevant conditions. We identified 1151 individual transcription start sites, multiple riboswitch-like RNA elements, and a global set of antisense RNAs and previously unrecognized trans -acting RNAs. Taking advantage of these data, we revealed a temperature-induced and growth phase-dependent reprogramming of a large set of catabolic/energy production genes and uncovered the existence of a thermo-regulated ‘acetate switch’, which appear to prime the bacteria for growth in the digestive tract. To elucidate the regulatory architecture linking nutritional status to virulence we also refined the CRP regulon. We identified a massive remodelling of the CRP-controlled network in response to temperature and discovered CRP as a transcriptional master regulator of numerous conserved and newly identified non-coding RNAs which participate in this process. This finding highlights a novel level of complexity of the regulatory network in which the concerted action of transcriptional regulators and multiple non-coding RNAs under control of CRP adjusts the control of Yersinia fitness and virulence to the requirements of their environmental and virulent life-styles. ; Many bacterial pathogens cycle between environmental sources and mammalian hosts. Adaptation to the different natural habitats and host niches is achieved through complex regulatory networks which adjust synthesis of the large repertoire of crucial virulence factors and fitness determinants. To uncover underlying control circuits, we determined the first in-depth single-nucleotide resolution transcriptome of . This revealed important novel genetic information, such as global locations of transcriptional start sites, non-coding RNAs, potential riboswitches and provided a set of virulence-relevant expression profiles, which constitute a valuable tool for the research community. The analysis further uncovered a temperature-induced global reprogramming of central metabolic functions, likely to support intestinal colonization of the pathogen. This is accompanied by a major reorganization of the CRP regulon, which involves a multitude of regulatory RNAs. The primary consequence is a fine-tuned, coordinated control of metabolism and virulence through a plethora of environmentally controlled regulatory RNAs allowing rapid adaptation and high flexibility during life-style changes.
    Keywords: Research Article
    ISSN: 1553-7390
    E-ISSN: 1553-7404
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: PLoS Genetics, 2008, Vol.4(8), p.e1000163
    Description: Recent advances in high-throughput pyrosequencing (HTPS) technology now allow a thorough analysis of RNA bound to cellular proteins, and, therefore, of post-transcriptional regulons. We used HTPS to discover the Salmonella RNAs that are targeted by the common bacterial Sm-like protein, Hfq. Initial transcriptomic analysis revealed that Hfq controls the expression of almost a fifth of all Salmonella genes, including several horizontally acquired pathogenicity islands (SPI-1, -2, -4, -5), two sigma factor regulons, and the flagellar gene cascade. Subsequent HTPS analysis of 350,000 cDNAs, derived from RNA co-immunoprecipitation (coIP) with epitope-tagged Hfq or control coIP, identified 727 mRNAs that are Hfq-bound in vivo . The cDNA analysis discovered new, small noncoding RNAs (sRNAs) and more than doubled the number of sRNAs known to be expressed in Salmonella to 64; about half of these are associated with Hfq. Our analysis explained aspects of the pleiotropic effects of Hfq loss-of-function. Specifically, we found that the mRNAs of hilD (master regulator of the SPI-1 invasion genes) and flhDC (flagellar master regulator) were bound by Hfq. We predicted that defective SPI-1 secretion and flagellar phenotypes of the hfq mutant would be rescued by overexpression of HilD and FlhDC, and we proved this to be correct. The combination of epitope-tagging and HTPS of immunoprecipitated RNA detected the expression of many intergenic chromosomal regions of Salmonella . Our approach overcomes the limited availability of high-density microarrays that have impeded expression-based sRNA discovery in microorganisms. We present a generic strategy that is ideal for the systems-level analysis of the post-transcriptional regulons of RNA-binding proteins and for sRNA discovery in a wide range of bacteria. ; The past decade has seen small regulatory RNA become an important new mediator of bacterial mRNA regulation. This study describes a rapid way to identify novel sRNAs that are expressed, and should prove relevant to a variety of bacteria. We purified the epitope-tagged RNA-binding protein, Hfq, and its bound RNA by immunoprecipitation from the model pathogen, serovar Typhimurium. This new strategy used Next Generation pyrosequencing to identify 727 Hfq-bound mRNAs. The numbers of sRNAs expressed in was doubled to 64; half are associated with Hfq. We defined the exact coordinates of sRNAs, and confirmed that they are expressed at significant levels. We also determined the Hfq regulon in , and reported the role of Hfq in controlling transcription of major pathogenicity islands, horizontally acquired regions, and the flagellar cascade. Hfq is reported to be a global regulator that affects the expression of almost a fifth of all genes. Our new approach will allow sRNAs and mRNAs to be characterized from different genetic backgrounds, or from bacteria grown under particular environmental conditions. It will be valuable to scientists working on genetically tractable bacteria who are interested in the function of RNA-binding proteins and the identification of sRNAs.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biochemistry -- Bioinformatics ; Genetics And Genomics -- Functional Genomics ; Genetics And Genomics -- Gene Expression ; Microbiology ; Microbiology -- Microbial Evolution And Genomics
    ISSN: 1553-7390
    E-ISSN: 1553-7404
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