Control of RNA stability by NrrF, an iron-regulated small RNA in Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
ABSTRACT: Regulation of gene expression by small noncoding RNAs (sRNAs) plays a critical role in bacterial response to physiological stresses. NrrF, a trans-acting sRNA in Neisseria meningitidis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, has been shown in the meningococcus to control indirectly, in response to iron (Fe) availability, the transcription of genes encoding subunits of succinate dehydrogenase, a Fe-requiring enzyme. Given that in other organisms, sRNAs target multiple mRNAs to control gene expression, we used a global approach to examine the role of NrrF in controlling gonococcal transcription. Three strains, including N. gonorrhoeae FA1090, an nrrF deletion mutant, and a complemented derivative, were examined using a custom CombiMatrix microarray to assess the role of this sRNA in controlling gene expression in response to Fe availability. In the absence of NrrF, the mRNA half-lives for 12 genes under Fe-depleted growth conditions were longer than those in FA1090. The 12 genes controlled by NrrF encoded proteins with biological functions including energy metabolism, oxidative stress, antibiotic resistance, and amino acid synthesis, as well as hypothetical proteins and a regulatory protein whose functions are not fully understood.
Project description:Regulation of gene expression by small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) plays a critical role in bacterial response to physiological stresses. NrrF, a trans-acting sRNA in Neisseria meningitidis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, has been shown in the meningococcus to indirectly control, in response to iron (Fe) availability, the transcription of genes encoding subunits of succinate dehydrogenase, a Fe-requiring enzyme. Given that in other organisms sRNAs target multiple mRNAs to control gene expression, we used a global approach to examine the role of NrrF in controlling gonococcal transcription. Three strains, including N. gonorrhoeae FA1090, an nrrF deletion mutant and a complemented derivative were examined using a custom CombiMatrix microarray to assess the role of this sRNA in controlling gene expression in response to Fe availability. In the absence of NrrF, mRNA half-lives increased for 12 genes in Fe-depleted growth conditions, compared to FA1090. Biological functions for the 12 genes controlled by NrrF included energy metabolism, oxidative stress, antibiotic resistance, amino acid synthesis and a regulatory protein whose functions are not fully understood, in addition to hypothetical proteins. 18 samples. Three separate biological replicates for both growth conditions (Fe deplete and Fe replete) were done for all each isolate (6 samples per isolate); FA1090 wild type strain; NrrF_mutant strain LJ001; NrrF_complemented strain LJ002
Project description:For most pathogens, iron (Fe) homeostasis is crucial for maintenance within the host and the ability to cause disease. The primary transcriptional regulator that controls intracellular Fe levels is the Fur (ferric uptake regulator) protein, which exerts its action on transcription by binding to a promoter-proximal sequence termed the Fur box. Fur-regulated transcriptional responses are often fine-tuned at the post-transcriptional level through the action of small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs). Consequently, identifying sRNAs contributing to the control of Fe homeostasis is important for understanding the Fur-controlled bacterial Fe-response network.In this study, we sequenced size-selected directional libraries representing sRNA samples from Neisseria gonorrhoeae strain FA 1090, and examined the Fe- and temporal regulation of these sRNAs. RNA-seq data for all time points identified a pool of at least 340 potential sRNAs. Differential analysis demonstrated that expression appeared to be regulated by Fe availability for at least fifteen of these sRNAs. Fourteen sRNAs were induced in high Fe conditions, consisting of both cis and trans sRNAs, some of which are predicted to control expression of a known virulence factor, and one SAM riboswitch. An additional putative cis-acting sRNA was repressed by Fe availability. In the pathogenic Neisseria species, one sRNA that contributes to Fe-regulated post-transcriptional control is the Fur-repressible sRNA NrrF. The expression of five Fe-induced sRNAs appeared to be at least partially controlled by NrrF, while the remainder was expressed independently of NrrF. The expression of the 14 Fe-induced sRNAs also exhibited temporal control, as their expression levels increased dramatically as the bacteria entered stationary phase.Here we report the temporal expression of Fe-regulated sRNAs in N. gonorrhoeae FA 1090 with several appearing to be controlled by the Fe-repressible sRNA NrrF. Temporal regulation of these sRNAs suggests a regulatory role in controlling functions necessary for survival, and may be important for phenotypes often associated with altered growth rates, such as biofilm formation or intracellular survival. Future functional studies will be needed to understand how these regulatory sRNAs contribute to gonococcal biology and pathogenesis.
Project description:Like most microorganisms, Neisseria gonorrhoeae alters gene expression in response to iron availability. The ferric uptake regulator Fur has been shown to be involved in controlling this response, but the extent of this involvement remains unknown. It is known that in addition to working directly to repress gene expression, Fur may also work indirectly by controlling additional regulatory elements. Using in silico analysis, we identified a putative small RNA (sRNA) homolog of the meningococcal nrrF locus, and demonstrate that this sRNA is iron-repressible, suggesting that this is the gonococcal analog of the rhyB locus in Escherichia coli. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis indicates that this transcript may also be temporally regulated. Transcript analysis identified the 5' start of the transcript, using a single reaction, fluorescent-based, primer extension assay. This protocol allows for the rapid identification of transcriptional start sites of RNA transcripts, and could be used for high-throughput transcript mapping.
Project description:Deep sequencing of cDNA from Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria and human neutrophils, alone and after coincubation. Overall design: Total RNA was isolated from Neisseria gonorrhoeae strains FA1090/H041 and adherent primary human neutrophils, alone and after co-culture over time. Ribosomal RNA was depleted and the remaining RNA was reverse-transcribed into a cDNA library for Illumina sequencing. Reads were mapped to the FA1090, H041 and/or human genomes.
Project description:NrrF is a small regulatory RNA of the human pathogen Neisseria meningitidis. NrrF was previously shown to repress succinate dehydrogenase (sdhCDAB) under control of the ferric uptake regulator (Fur). Here, we provide evidence that cytochrome bc1 , encoded by the polycistronic mRNA petABC, is a NrrF target as well. We demonstrated differential expression of cytochrome bc1 comparing wild-type meningococci and meningococci expressing NrrF when sufficient iron is available. Using a gfp-reporter system monitoring translational control and target recognition of sRNA in Escherichia coli, we show that interaction between NrrF and the 5' untranslated region of the petABC mRNA results in its repression. The NrrF region essential for repression of petABC was identified by site-directed mutagenesis and is fully conserved among meningococci. Our results provide further insights into the mechanism by which Fur controls essential components of the N. meningitidis respiratory chain. Adaptation of cytochrome bc1 complex component levels upon iron limitation is post-transcriptionally regulated via the small regulatory RNA NrrF.
Project description:Iron is both essential for bacterial growth and toxic at higher concentrations; thus, iron homeostasis is tightly regulated. In Neisseria meningitidis the majority of iron-responsive gene regulation is mediated by the ferric uptake regulator protein (Fur), a protein classically defined as a transcriptional repressor. Recently, however, microarray studies have identified a number of genes in N. meningitidis that are iron and Fur activated, demonstrating a new role for Fur as a transcriptional activator. Since Fur has been shown to indirectly activate gene transcription through the repression of small regulatory RNA molecules in other organisms, we hypothesized that a similar mechanism could account for Fur-dependent, iron-activated gene transcription in N. meningitidis. In this study, we used a bioinformatics approach to screen for the presence of Fur-regulated small RNA molecules in N. meningitidis MC58. This screen identified one small RNA, herein named NrrF (for neisserial regulatory RNA responsive to iron [Fe]), which was demonstrated to be both iron responsive and Fur regulated and which has a well-conserved orthologue in N. gonorrhoeae. In addition, this screen identified a number of other likely, novel small RNA transcripts. Lastly, we utilized a new bioinformatics approach to predict regulatory targets of the NrrF small RNA. This analysis led to the identification of the sdhA and sdhC genes, which were subsequently demonstrated to be under NrrF regulation in an nrrF mutant. This study is the first report of small RNAs in N. meningitidis and the first to use a bioinformatics approach to identify, a priori, regulatory targets of a small RNA.
Project description:Microarray comparative genome hybridization (mCGH) data was collected from one Neisseria cinerea, two Neisseria lactamica, two Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and 48 Neisseria meningitidis isolates. For N. meningitidis, these isolates are from diverse clonal complexes, invasive and carriage strains, and all major serogroups. The microarray platform represented N. meningitidis strains MC58, Z2491, and FAM18 and N. gonorrhoeae FA1090.
Project description:In Neisseria meningitidis, iron-responsive gene regulation is mediated primarily by the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) protein. When complexed with iron, Fur represses gene expression by preventing transcription initiation. Fur can also indirectly activate gene expression via the repression of regulatory small RNAs (sRNA). One such Fur- and iron-regulated sRNA, NrrF, was previously identified in N. meningitidis and shown to repress expression of the sdhA and sdhC genes encoding subunits of the succinate dehydrogenase complex. In the majority of Gram-negative bacteria, sRNA-mediated regulation requires a cofactor RNA-binding protein (Hfq) for proper gene regulation and stabilization. In this study, we examined the role of Hfq in NrrF-mediated regulation of the succinate dehydrogenase genes in N. meningitidis and the effect of an hfq mutation on iron-responsive gene regulation more broadly. We first demonstrated that the stability of NrrF, as well as the regulation of sdhC and sdhA in vivo, was unaltered in the hfq mutant. Secondly, we established that iron-responsive gene regulation of the Fur-regulated sodB gene was dependent on Hfq. Finally, we demonstrated that in N. meningitidis, Hfq functions in a global manner to control expression of many ORFs and intergenic regions via iron-independent mechanisms. Collectively these studies demonstrate that in N. meningitidis, iron- and NrrF-mediated regulation of sdhC and sdhA can occur independently of Hfq, although Hfq functions more globally to control regulation of other N. meningitidis genes primarily by iron-independent mechanisms.