Small RNA-induced differential degradation of the polycistronic mRNA iscRSUA.
ABSTRACT: Most polycistronic genes are expressed in a single transcript, in which each cistron produces a fixed amount of protein. In this report, we show the first example of differential degradation of a polycistronic gene induced by a small regulatory RNA (sRNA). Our data show that the iron-responsive sRNA, RyhB, binds to the second cistron of the polycistronic mRNA, iscRSUA, which encodes the necessary machinery for biosynthesis of Fe-S clusters, and promotes the cleavage of the downstream iscSUA transcript. This cleavage gives rise to the remaining 5'-section of the transcript encoding IscR, a transcriptional regulator responsible for activation and repression of several genes depending on the cellular Fe-S level. Our data indicate that the iscR transcript is stable and that translation is active. The stability of the iscR transcript depends on a 111-nucleotide long non-translated RNA section located between iscR and iscS, which forms a strong repetitive extragenic palindromic secondary structure and may protect against ribonucleases degradation. This novel regulation shows how sRNAs and mRNA structures can work together to modulate the transcriptional response to a specific stress.
Project description:<h4>Unlabelled</h4>Fe-S clusters are cofactors conserved through all domains of life. Once assembled by dedicated ISC and/or SUF scaffolds, Fe-S clusters are conveyed to their apo-targets via A-type carrier proteins (ATCs). Escherichia coli possesses four such ATCs. ErpA is the only ATC essential under aerobiosis. Recent studies reported a possible regulation of the erpA mRNA by the small RNA (sRNA) RyhB, which controls the expression of many genes under iron starvation. Surprisingly, erpA has not been identified in recent transcriptomic analysis of the iron starvation response, thus bringing into question the actual physiological significance of the putative regulation of erpA by RyhB. Using an sRNA library, we show that among 26 sRNAs, only RyhB represses the expression of an erpA-lacZ translational fusion. We further demonstrate that this repression occurs during iron starvation. Using mutational analysis, we show that RyhB base pairs to the erpA mRNA, inducing its disappearance. In addition, IscR, the master regulator of Fe-S homeostasis, represses expression of erpA at the transcriptional level when iron is abundant, but depleting iron from the medium alleviates this repression. The conjunction of transcriptional derepression by IscR and posttranscriptional repression by RyhB under Fe-limiting conditions is best described as an incoherent regulatory circuit. This double regulation allows full expression of erpA at iron concentrations for which Fe-S biogenesis switches from the ISC to the SUF system. We further provide evidence that this regulatory circuit coordinates ATC usage to iron availability.<h4>Importance</h4>Regulatory small RNAs (sRNAs) have emerged as major actors in the control of gene expression in the last few decades. Relatively little is known about how these regulators interact with classical transcription factors to coordinate genetic responses. We show here how an sRNA, RyhB, and a transcription factor, IscR, regulate expression of an essential gene, erpA, in the bacterium E. coli ErpA is involved in the biogenesis of Fe-S clusters, an important class of cofactors involved in a plethora of cellular reactions. Interestingly, we show that RyhB and IscR repress expression of erpA under opposite conditions in regard to iron concentration, forming a regulatory circuit called an "incoherent network." This incoherent network serves to maximize expression of erpA at iron concentrations where it is most needed. Altogether, our study paves the way for a better understanding of mixed regulatory networks composed of RNAs and transcription factors.
Project description:Fe-S clusters are essential across the biological world, yet how cells regulate expression of Fe-S cluster biogenesis pathways to cope with changes in Fe-S cluster demand is not well understood. Here, we describe the mechanism by which IscR, a [2Fe-2S] cluster-containing regulator of Escherichia coli, adjusts the synthesis of the Isc Fe-S biogenesis pathway to maintain Fe-S homeostasis. Our data indicate that a negative feedback loop operates to repress transcription of the iscRSUA-hscBA-fdx operon, encoding IscR and the Isc machinery, through binding of [2Fe-2S]-IscR to two upstream binding sites. IscR was shown to require primarily the Isc pathway for synthesis of its Fe-S cluster, providing a link between IscR activity and demands for Fe-S clusters through the levels of the Isc system. Surprisingly, the isc operon was more repressed under anaerobic conditions, indicating increased Fe-S cluster occupancy of IscR and decreased Fe-S cluster biogenesis demand relative to aerobic conditions. Consistent with this notion, overexpression of a Fe-S protein under aerobic conditions, but not under anaerobic conditions, led to derepression of P(iscR). Together, these data show how transcriptional control of iscRSUA-hscBA-fdx by [2Fe-2S]-IscR allows E.?coli to respond efficiently to varying Fe-S demands.
Project description:In bacteria, small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) bind to target mRNAs and regulate their translation and/or stability. In the polycistronic galETKM operon of Escherichia coli, binding of the Spot 42 sRNA to the operon transcript leads to the generation of galET mRNA. The mechanism of this regulation has remained unclear. We show that sRNA-mRNA base pairing at the beginning of the galK gene leads to both transcription termination and transcript cleavage within galK, and generates galET mRNAs with two different 3’-OH ends. Transcription termination requires Rho, and transcript cleavage requires the endonuclease RNase E. The sRNA-mRNA base-paired segments required for generating the two galET species are different, indicating different sequence requirements for the two events. The use of two targets in an mRNA, each of which causes a different outcome, appears to be a novel mode of action for a sRNA. Considering the prevalence of potential sRNA targets at cistron junctions, the generation of new mRNA species by the mechanisms reported here might be a widespread mode of bacterial gene regulation. Author summary sRNAs are regulators of gene expression in all forms of life. In bacteria such as E. coli, sRNAs base-pair with mRNA, which can have many consequences such as premature transcription termination by Rho and degradation of mRNA by the endoribonuclease RNase E. Here we show that the two processes can occur on the same sRNA-mRNA pair and produce shorter but stable mRNA that can be of functional significance. Thus, in sRNA regulation of mRNA, transcript cleavage can be an additional mechanism to well-known transcription termination to generate new mRNA species. The choice between the mechanisms is dictated by where on the mRNA the base pairing with sRNA takes place.
Project description:In bacteria, mRNA decay is a major mechanism for regulating gene expression. In Escherichia coli, mRNA decay initiates with endonucleolytic cleavage by RNase E. Translating ribosomes impede RNase E cleavage, thus providing stability to mRNA. In transcripts containing multiple cistrons, the translation of each cistron initiates separately. The effect of internal translation initiations on the decay of polycistronic transcripts remains unknown, which we have investigated here using the four-cistron galETKM transcript. We find that RNase E cleaves a few nucleotides (14-36) upstream of the translation initiation site of each cistron, generating decay intermediates galTKM, galKM, and galM mRNA with fewer but full cistrons. Blocking translation initiation reduced stability, particularly of the mutated cistrons and when they were the 5'-most cistrons. This indicates that, together with translation failure, the location of the cistron is important for its elimination. The instability of the 5'-most cistron did not propagate to the downstream cistrons, possibly due to translation initiation there. Cistron elimination from the 5' end was not always sequential, indicating that RNase E can also directly access a ribosome-free internal cistron. The finding in gal operon of mRNA decay by cistron elimination appears common in E. coli and Salmonella.
Project description:Phenotypic resistance describes a bacterial population that becomes transiently resistant to an antibiotic without requiring a genetic change. We here investigated the role of the small regulatory RNA (sRNA) RyhB, a key contributor to iron homeostasis, in the phenotypic resistance of Escherichia coli to various classes of antibiotics. We found that RyhB induces phenotypic resistance to gentamicin, an aminoglycoside that targets the ribosome, when iron is scarce. RyhB induced resistance is due to the inhibition of respiratory complexes Nuo and Sdh activities. These complexes, which contain numerous Fe-S clusters, are crucial for generating a proton motive force (pmf) that allows gentamicin uptake. RyhB regulates negatively the expression of nuo and sdh, presumably by binding to their mRNAs and, as a consequence, inhibiting their translation. We further show that Isc Fe-S biogenesis machinery is essential for the maturation of Nuo. As RyhB also limits levels of the Isc machinery, we propose that RyhB may also indirectly impact the maturation of Nuo and Sdh. Notably, our study shows that respiratory complexes activity levels are predictive of the bacterial sensitivity to gentamicin. Altogether, these results unveil a new role for RyhB in the adaptation to antibiotic stress, an unprecedented consequence of its role in iron starvation stress response.
Project description:Despite the overwhelming information about sRNAs, one of the biggest challenges in the sRNA field is characterizing sRNA targetomes. Thus, we develop a novel method to identify RNAs that interact with a specific sRNA, regardless of the type of regulation (positive or negative) or targets (mRNA, tRNA, sRNA). This method is called MAPS: MS2 affinity purification coupled with RNA sequencing. As proof of principle, we identified RNAs bound to RyhB, a well-characterized E. coli sRNA. Identification of RNAs co-purified with MS2-RyhB in a rne131 ?ryhB strain. RyhB (without MS2) was used as control
Project description:Aconitase is an iron-sulfur protein and a major enzyme of the TCA cycle that catalyzes the conversion of citrate to isocitrate under iron-rich conditions. In Escherichia coli, aconitase B (AcnB) is a typical moonlighting protein that can switch to its apo form (apo-AcnB) which favors binding its own mRNA 3'UTR and stabilize it when intracellular iron become scarce. The small regulatory RNA (sRNA) RyhB has previously been shown to promote RNase E-dependent degradation of acnB mRNA when it was expressed from an ectopic arabinose-dependent promoter, independently of intracellular iron levels. In marked contrast, we report here that expression of RyhB under low-iron conditions did not result in acnB mRNA degradation even when RyhB was bound to acnB ribosome binding site (RBS). Genetic and biochemical evidence suggested that, under low-iron conditions, apo-AcnB bound to acnB 3'UTR close to a RNase E cleavage site that is essential for RyhB-induced acnB mRNA degradation. Whereas RyhB can block acnB translation initiation, RNase E-dependent degradation of acnB was prevented by apo-AcnB binding close to the cleavage site. This previously uncharacterized regulation suggests an intricate post-transcriptional mechanism that represses protein expression while insuring mRNA stability.
Project description:As dormant phenotypic variants of bacteria, persisters account for many chronic infections affecting human health. Despite numerous studies, the role of small non-coding RNA (sRNA) in bacterial persistence has not been reported. To investigate the role of Hfq-interacting sRNA in persistence, we constructed the deletion mutants of 20 Hfq-interacting sRNAs (RyhB, GcvB, MgrR, RybB, MicF, SgrS, RprA, DicF, SsrS, FnrS, GadY, DsrA, OmrB, ArcZ, RyeB, RydC, OmrA, MicA, MicC, and ChiX) to assess their persistence capacity in uropathogenic Escherichia coli strain UTI89 and identified a new sRNA RyhB being involved in persister formation. The ryhB-knockout mutant had significant defect in persistence to a diverse range of antibiotics (levofloxacin, cefotaxime, gentamicin) and stresses (hyperosmosis, acid, and heat) in both exponential phase and stationary phase. In addition, the effect of RyhB on persistence was synergistic with ppGpp and Fur protein. RNA-Seq analysis indicated that the ryhB-knockout mutant had a hyperactive metabolic state compared with the parent strain. Interestingly, increased adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels and altered NAD+/NADH ratios were observed in the ryhB-knockout mutant. Our findings represent a new level of persistence regulation via sRNA and may provide novel therapeutic targets for interventions.
Project description:Sequence-function relations for small RNA (sRNA)-mediated gene silencing were quantified for the sRNA RyhB and some of its mRNA targets in Escherichia coli. Numerous mutants of RyhB and its targets were generated and their in vivo functions characterized at various levels of target and RyhB expression. Although a core complementary region is required for repression by RyhB, variations in the complementary sequences of the core region gave rise to a continuum of repression strengths, correlated exponentially with the computed free energy of RyhB-target duplex formation. Moreover, sequence variations in the linker region known to interact with the RNA chaperone Hfq also gave rise to a continuum of repression strengths, correlated exponentially with the computed energy cost of keeping the linker region open. These results support the applicability of the thermodynamic model in predicting sRNA-mRNA interaction and suggest that sequences at these locations may be used to fine-tune the degree of repression. Surprisingly, a truncated RyhB without the Hfq-binding region is found to repress multiple targets of the wild-type RyhB effectively, both in the presence and absence of Hfq, even though the former is required for the activity of wild-type RyhB itself. These findings challenge the commonly accepted model concerning the function of Hfq in gene silencing-both in providing stability to the sRNAs and in catalyzing the target mRNAs to take on active conformations-and raise the intriguing question of why many endogenous sRNAs subject their functions to Hfq-dependences.
Project description:As key players of gene regulation in many bacteria, small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) associated with the RNA chaperone Hfq shape numerous phenotypic traits, including metabolism, stress response and adaptation, as well as virulence. sRNAs can alter target messenger RNA (mRNA) translation and stability via base pairing. sRNA synthesis is generally under tight transcriptional regulation, but other levels of regulation of sRNA signaling are less well understood. Here we used a fluorescence-based functional screen to identify regulators that can quench sRNA signaling of the iron-responsive sRNA RyhB in <i>Escherichia coli</i> The identified regulators fell into two classes, general regulators (affecting signaling by many sRNAs) and RyhB-specific regulators; we focused on the specific ones here. General regulators include three Hfq-interacting sRNAs, CyaR, ChiX, and McaS, previously found to act through Hfq competition, RNase T, a 3' to 5' exonuclease not previously implicated in sRNA degradation, and YhbS, a putative GCN5-related <i>N</i>-acetyltransferase (GNAT). Two specific regulators were identified. AspX, a 3'end-derived small RNA, specifically represses RyhB signaling via an RNA sponging mechanism. YicC, a previously uncharacterized but widely conserved protein, triggers rapid RyhB degradation via collaboration with the exoribonuclease PNPase. These findings greatly expand our knowledge of regulation of bacterial sRNA signaling and suggest complex regulatory networks for controlling iron homeostasis in bacteria. The fluorescence-based genetic screen system described here is a powerful tool expected to accelerate the discovery of novel regulators of sRNA signaling in many bacteria.