Homologs of the small RNA SgrS are broadly distributed in enteric bacteria but have diverged in size and sequence.
ABSTRACT: Sugar phosphate stress in Escherichia coli is sensed and managed by the transcriptional regulator SgrR and the small RNA (sRNA) SgrS. SgrS is a dual function RNA that performs base pairing-dependent regulation of mRNA targets and encodes a small protein, SgrT. Homologs of SgrR were analyzed for gene synteny and inter-homolog identity to identify those that are likely to be functionally analogous. These 22 SgrR homologs were used to manually locate adjacent sRNAs functionally analogous to SgrS. SgrS homologs shared little sequence identity with E. coli SgrS, but most shared several structural features. The most conserved feature of SgrS homologs was the base pairing region while the most variable feature was the sgrT-coding sequence. Analyses of predicted interactions between SgrS:ptsG mRNA pairs in different organisms revealed interesting differences in the patterns of base pairing interactions. RNA pairs with more interrupted regions of complementarity had a higher proportion of G:C base pairs than those with longer contiguous stretches of complementarity. The identification of this set of homologous sRNAs and their targets sets the stage for future studies to further elucidate the molecular requirements for regulation by SgrS.
Project description:SgrS is a small RNA (sRNA) that requires the RNA chaperone Hfq for its function. SgrS is a unique dual-function sRNA with a base pairing function that regulates mRNA targets and an mRNA function that allows production of the 43-amino-acid protein SgrT. SgrS is expressed when non-metabolizable sugars accumulate intracellularly (glucose-phosphate stress) and is required to allow Escherichia coli cells to recover from stress. In this study, homologs of SgrS were used to complement an E. coli sgrS mutant in order elucidate the physiological relevance of differences among homologs. These analyses revealed that the base pairing function of E. coli and Yersinia pestis SgrS homologs is critical for rescue from glucose-phosphate stress. In contrast, base pairing-deficient SgrS homologs from Salmonella typhimurium, Erwinia carotovora and Klebsiella pneumoniae rescue E. coli cells from stress despite their failure to regulate target mRNAs. Compared with E. coli SgrS, S. typhimurium SgrS produces more SgrT and this rescues cell growth even when the base pairing function is inactivated. Genetic evidence suggests that a secondary structure in the E. coli SgrS 5' region inhibits sgrT translation. This structure is not present in S. typhimurium SgrS, which explains its higher level of SgrT production.
Project description:Bacterial dual-function small RNAs regulate gene expression by RNA-RNA base pairing and also code for small proteins. SgrS is a dual-function small RNA in Escherichia coli and Salmonella that is expressed under stress conditions associated with accumulation of sugar-phosphates, and its activity is crucial for growth during stress. The base-pairing function of SgrS regulates a number of mRNA targets, resulting in reduced uptake and enhanced efflux of sugars. SgrS also encodes the SgrT protein, which reduces sugar uptake by a mechanism that is independent of base pairing. While SgrS base-pairing activity has been characterized in detail, little is known about how base pairing and translation of sgrT are coordinated. In the current study, we utilized a series of mutants to determine how translation of sgrT affected the efficiency of base pairing-dependent regulation and vice versa. Mutations that abrogated sgrT translation had minimal effects on base-pairing activity. Conversely, mutations that impaired base-pairing interactions resulted in increased SgrT production. Furthermore, while ectopic overexpression of sgrS mutant alleles lacking only one of the two functions rescued cell growth under stress conditions, the SgrS base-pairing function alone was indispensable for growth rescue when alleles were expressed from the native locus. Collectively, the results suggest that during stress, repression of sugar transporter synthesis via base pairing with sugar transporter mRNAs is the first priority of SgrS. Subsequently, SgrT is made and acts on preexisting transporters. The combined action of these two functions produces an effective stress response.
Project description:SgrS is a 227-nt small RNA that is expressed in Escherichia coli during glucose-phosphate stress, a condition associated with intracellular accumulation of glucose-6-phosphate caused by disruption of glycolytic flux. Under stress conditions, SgrS negatively regulates translation and stability of the ptsG mRNA, encoding the major glucose transporter, by means of a base pairing-dependent mechanism requiring the RNA chaperone Hfq. SgrS activity mitigates the effects of glucose-phosphate stress, and the present study has elucidated a function of SgrS that is proposed to contribute to the stress response. The 5' end of SgrS, upstream of the nucleotides involved in base pairing with the ptsG mRNA, contains a 43-aa ORF, sgrT, that is conserved in most species that contain SgrS-like small RNAs. The sgrT gene is translated in E. coli under conditions of glucose-phosphate stress. Analysis of alleles that separate the base pairing function of SgrS from the sgrT coding sequence revealed that either of these functions alone are sufficient for previously characterized SgrS phenotypes. SgrS-dependent down-regulation of ptsG mRNA stability does not require SgrT and SgrT by itself has no effect on ptsG mRNA stability. Cells expressing sgrT alone had a defect in glucose uptake even though they had nearly wild-type levels of PtsG (IICB(Glc)). Together, these data suggest that SgrS represents a previously unrecognized paradigm for small RNA (sRNA) regulators as a bifunctional RNA that encodes physiologically redundant but mechanistically distinct functions contributing to the same stress response.
Project description:In animal systems, mRNAs subject to posttranscriptional regulation by small RNAs (sRNAs) often possess multiple binding sites with imperfect complementarity to a given sRNA. In contrast, small RNA-mRNA interactions in bacteria and plants typically involve a single binding site. In a previous study, we demonstrated that the Escherichia coli sRNA SgrS base pairs with a site in the coding region of the first gene of a polycistronic message, manXYZ. This interaction was shown to be responsible for translational repression of manX and to contribute to destabilization of the manXYZ mRNA. In the current study, we report that translational repression of the manY and manZ genes by SgrS requires a second binding site located in the manX-manY intergenic region. Pairing at this site can repress translation of manY and manZ even when mRNA degradation is blocked. Base pairing between SgrS and the manX site does not affect translation of manY or manZ. Pairing at both sites is required for optimal SgrS-mediated degradation of the full-length manXYZ mRNA and for a particular stress phenotype. These results suggest that bacterial sRNAs may use target-site multiplicity to enhance the efficiency and stringency of regulation. Moreover, use of multiple binding sites may be particularly important for coordinating regulation of multiple genes encoded in operons.
Project description:A number of bacterial small RNAs (sRNAs) act as global regulators of stress responses by controlling expression of multiple genes. The sRNA SgrS is expressed in response to glucose-phosphate stress, a condition associated with disruption of glycolytic flux and accumulation of sugar-phosphates. SgrS has been shown to stimulate degradation of the ptsG mRNA, encoding the major glucose transporter. This study demonstrates that SgrS regulates the genes encoding the mannose and secondary glucose transporter, manXYZ. Analysis of manXYZ mRNA stability and translation in the presence and absence of SgrS indicate that manXYZ is regulated by SgrS under stress conditions and when SgrS is ectopically expressed. In vitro footprinting and in vivo mutational analyses showed that SgrS base pairs with manXYZ within the manX coding sequence to prevent manX translation. Regulation of manX did not require the RNase E degradosome complex, suggesting that the primary mechanism of regulation is translational. An Escherichia coli ptsG mutant strain that is manXYZ(+) experiences stress when exposed to the glucose analogs ?-methyl glucoside or 2-deoxyglucose. A ptsG manXYZ double mutant is resistant to the stress, indicating that PTS transporters encoded by both SgrS targets are involved in taking up substrates that cause stress.
Project description:Major bacterial small RNAs (sRNAs) regulate the translation and stability of target mRNAs through base pairing with the help of the RNA chaperone Hfq. The Hfq-dependent sRNAs consist of three basic elements, mRNA base-pairing region, Hfq-binding site, and rho-independent terminator. Although the base-pairing region and the terminator are well documented in many sRNAs, the Hfq-binding site is less well-defined except that Hfq binds RNA with a preference for AU-rich sequences. Here, we performed mutational and biochemical studies to define the sRNA site required for Hfq action using SgrS as a model sRNA. We found that shortening terminator polyU tail eliminates the ability of SgrS to bind to Hfq and to silence ptsG mRNA. We also demonstrate that the SgrS terminator can be replaced with any foreign rho-independent terminators possessing a polyU tail longer than 8 without losing the ability to silence ptsG mRNA in an Hfq-dependent manner. Moreover, we found that shortening the terminator polyU tail of several other sRNAs also eliminates the ability to bind to Hfq and to regulate target mRNAs. We conclude that the polyU tail of sRNAs is essential for Hfq action in general. The data also indicate that the terminator polyU tail plays a role in Hfq-dependent stabilization of sRNAs.
Project description:Small RNA (sRNA) regulators promote efficient responses to stress, but the mechanisms for prioritizing target mRNA regulation remain poorly understood. This study examines mechanisms underlying hierarchical regulation by the sRNA SgrS, found in enteric bacteria and produced under conditions of metabolic stress. SgrS posttranscriptionally coordinates a nine-gene regulon to restore growth and homeostasis. An in vivo reporter system quantified SgrS-dependent regulation of target genes and established that SgrS exhibits a clear target preference. Regulation of some targets is efficient even at low SgrS levels, whereas higher SgrS concentrations are required to regulate other targets. In vivo and in vitro analyses revealed that RNA structure and the number and position of base pairing sites relative to the start of translation impact the efficiency of regulation of SgrS targets. The RNA chaperone Hfq uses distinct modes of binding to different SgrS mRNA targets, which differentially influences positive and negative regulation. The RNA degradosome plays a larger role in regulation of some SgrS targets compared to others. Collectively, our results suggest that sRNA selection of target mRNAs and regulatory hierarchy are influenced by several molecular features and that the combination of these features precisely tunes the efficiency of regulation of multi-target sRNA regulons.
Project description:Escherichia coli is a widely used microorganism in biotechnological processes. An obvious goal for current scientific and technical research in this field is the search for new tools to optimize productivity. Usually glucose is the preferred carbon source in biotechnological applications. In E. coli, glucose is taken up by the phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent glucose phosphotransferase system (PTS). The regulation of the ptsG gene for the glucose transporter is very complex and involves several regulatory proteins. Recently, a novel posttranscriptional regulation system has been identified which consists of a small regulatory RNA SgrS and a small regulatory polypeptide called SgrT. During the accumulation of glucose-6-phosphate or fructose-6-phosphate, SgrS is involved in downregulation of ptsG mRNA stability, whereas SgrT inhibits glucose transport activity by a yet unknown mechanism. The function of SgrS has been studied intensively. In contrast, the knowledge about the function of SgrT is still limited. Therefore, in this paper, we focused our interest on the regulation of glucose transport activity by SgrT. We identified the SgrT target sequence within the glucose transporter and characterized the interaction in great detail. Finally, we suggest a novel experimental approach to regulate artificially carbohydrate uptake in E. coli to minimize metabolic overflow in biotechnological applications.
Project description:Bacterial small RNAs (sRNAs) are a class of structural RNAs that often regulate mRNA targets via post-transcriptional base pair interactions. We determined features that discriminate functional from non-functional interactions and assessed the influence of these features on genome-wide target predictions. For this purpose, we compiled a set of 71 experimentally verified sRNA-target pairs from Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. Furthermore, we collected full-length 5' untranslated regions by using genome-wide experimentally verified transcription start sites. Only interaction sites in sRNAs, but not in targets, show significant sequence conservation. In addition to this observation, we found that the base pairing between sRNAs and their targets is not conserved in general across more distantly related species. A closer inspection of RybB and RyhB sRNAs and their targets revealed that the base pairing complementarity is only conserved in a small subset of the targets. In contrast to conservation, accessibility of functional interaction sites is significantly higher in both sRNAs and targets in comparison to non-functional sites. Based on the above observations, we successfully used the following constraints to improve the specificity of genome-wide target predictions: the region of interaction initiation must be located in (1) highly accessible regions in both interaction partners and (2) unstructured conserved sRNA regions derived from reliability profiles of multiple sRNA alignments. Aligned sequences of homologous sRNAs, functional and non-functional targets, and a supplementary document with supplementary tables, figures and references are available at http://www. bioinf.uni-freiburg.de/Supplements/srna-interact-feat.
Project description:The Escherichia coli small RNA SgrS controls a metabolic stress response that occurs upon accumulation of certain glycolytic intermediates. SgrS base pairs with and represses translation of ptsG and manXYZ mRNAs, which encode sugar transporters, and activates translation of yigL mRNA, encoding a sugar phosphatase. This study defines four new genes as direct targets of E. coli?SgrS. These new targets, asd, adiY, folE and purR, encode transcription factors or enzymes of diverse metabolic pathways, including aspartate semialdehyde dehydrogenase, arginine decarboxylase gene activator, GTP cyclohydrolase I and a repressor of purine biosynthesis, respectively. SgrS represses translation of each of the four target mRNAs via distinct mechanisms. SgrS binding sites overlapping the Shine-Dalgarno sequences of adiY and folE mRNAs suggest that SgrS pairing with these targets directly occludes ribosome binding and prevents translation initiation. SgrS binding within the purR coding sequence recruits the RNA chaperone Hfq to directly repress purR translation. Two separate SgrS binding sites were found on asd mRNA, and both are required for full translational repression. Ectopic overexpression of asd, adiY and folE is specifically detrimental to cells experiencing glucose-phosphate stress, suggesting that SgrS-dependent repression of the metabolic functions encoded by these targets promotes recovery from glucose-phosphate stress.