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  • 1
    In: mBio, 2018, Vol.9(6)
    Description: The alphaproteobacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens is able to infect various eudicots causing crown gall tumor formation. Based on its unique ability of interkingdom gene transfer, Agrobacterium serves as a crucial biotechnological tool for genetic manipulation of plant cells. The presence of hundreds of putative sRNAs in this organism suggests a considerable impact of riboregulation on A. tumefaciens physiology. Here, we characterized the biological function of the sRNA PmaR that controls various processes crucial for growth, motility, and virulence. Among the genes directly targeted by PmaR is ampC coding for a beta-lactamase that confers ampicillin resistance, suggesting that the sRNA is crucial for fitness in the competitive microbial composition of the rhizosphere. ABSTRACT Small regulatory RNAs play an important role in the adaptation to changing conditions. Here, we describe a differentially expressed small regulatory RNA (sRNA) that affects various cellular processes in the plant pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens . Using a combination of bioinformatic predictions and comparative proteomics, we identified nine targets, most of which are positively regulated by the sRNA. According to these targets, we named the sRNA PmaR for peptidoglycan biosynthesis, motility, and ampicillin resistance regulator. Agrobacterium spp. are long known to be naturally resistant to high ampicillin concentrations, and we can now explain this phenotype by the positive PmaR-mediated regulation of the beta-lactamase gene ampC . Structure probing revealed a spoon-like structure of the sRNA, with a single-stranded loop that is engaged in target interaction in vivo and in vitro . Several riboregulators have been implicated in antibiotic resistance mechanisms, such as uptake and efflux transporters, but PmaR represents the first example of an sRNA that directly controls the expression of an antibiotic resistance gene.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Molecular Biology And Physiology ; Antibiotic Resistance ; Gene Regulation ; Plant-Microbe Interaction ; Posttranscriptional Control ; Regulatory Rna
    ISSN: 21612129
    E-ISSN: 2150-7511
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  • 2
    In: mBio, 2019, Vol.10(1)
    Description: The protein ProQ has recently been discovered as the centerpiece of a previously overlooked “third domain” of small RNA-mediated control of gene expression in bacteria. As in vitro work continues to reveal molecular mechanisms, it is also important to understand how ProQ affects the life cycle of bacterial pathogens as these pathogens infect eukaryotic cells. Here, we have determined how ProQ shapes Salmonella virulence and how the activities of this RNA-binding protein compare with those of Hfq, another central protein in RNA-based gene regulation in this and other bacteria. To this end, we apply global transcriptomics of pathogen and host cells during infection. In doing so, we reveal ProQ-dependent transcript changes in key virulence and host immune pathways. Moreover, we differentiate the roles of ProQ from those of Hfq during infection, for both coding and noncoding transcripts, and provide an important resource for those interested in ProQ-dependent small RNAs in enteric bacteria. ABSTRACT FinO domain proteins such as ProQ of the model pathogen Salmonella enterica have emerged as a new class of major RNA-binding proteins in bacteria. ProQ has been shown to target hundreds of transcripts, including mRNAs from many virulence regions, but its role, if any, in bacterial pathogenesis has not been studied. Here, using a Dual RNA-seq approach to profile ProQ-dependent gene expression changes as Salmonella infects human cells, we reveal dysregulation of bacterial motility, chemotaxis, and virulence genes which is accompanied by altered MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) signaling in the host. Comparison with the other major RNA chaperone in Salmonella , Hfq, reinforces the notion that these two global RNA-binding proteins work in parallel to ensure full virulence. Of newly discovered infection-associated ProQ-bound small noncoding RNAs (sRNAs), we show that the 3′UTR-derived sRNA STnc540 is capable of repressing an infection-induced magnesium transporter mRNA in a ProQ-dependent manner. Together, this comprehensive study uncovers the relevance of ProQ for Salmonella pathogenesis and highlights the importance of RNA-binding proteins in regulating bacterial virulence programs.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Molecular Biology And Physiology ; Editor'S Pick ; Hfq ; Noncoding Rna ; Proq ; Rna-Seq ; Bacterial Pathogen ; Posttranscriptional Control
    ISSN: 21612129
    E-ISSN: 2150-7511
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