The role of ribonucleases in regulating global mRNA levels in the model organism Thermus thermophilus HB8.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: RNA metabolism, including RNA synthesis and RNA degradation, is one of the most conserved biological systems and has been intensively studied; however, the degradation network of ribonucleases (RNases) and RNA substrates is not fully understood. RESULTS: The genome of the extreme thermophile, Thermus thermophilus HB8 includes 15 genes that encode RNases or putative RNases. Using DNA microarray analyses, we examined the effects of disruption of each RNase on mRNA abundance. Disruption of the genes encoding RNase J, RecJ-like protein and RNase P could not be isolated, indicating that these RNases are essential for cell viability. Disruption of the TTHA0252 gene, which was not previously considered to be involved in mRNA degradation, affected mRNA abundance, as did disruption of the putative RNases, YbeY and PhoH-like proteins, suggesting that they have RNase activity. The effects on mRNA abundance of disruption of several RNase genes were dependent on the phase of cell growth. Disruption of the RNase Y and RNase HII genes affected mRNA levels only during the log phase, whereas disruption of the PhoH-like gene affected mRNA levels only during the stationary phase. Moreover, disruption of the RNase R and PNPase genes had a greater impact on mRNA abundance during the stationary phase than the log phase, whereas the opposite was true for the TTHA0252 gene disruptant. Similar changes in mRNA levels were observed after disruption of YbeY or PhoH-like genes. The changes in mRNA levels in the bacterial Argonaute disruptant were similar to those in the RNase HI and RNase HII gene disruptants, suggesting that bacterial Argonaute is a functional homolog of RNase H. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that T. thermophilus HB8 has 13 functional RNases and that each RNase has a different function in the cell. The putative RNases, TTHA0252, YbeY and PhoH-like proteins, are suggested to have RNase activity and to be involved in mRNA degradation. In addition, PhoH-like and YbeY proteins may act cooperatively in the stationary phase. This study also suggests that endo-RNases function mainly during the log phase, whereas exo-RNases function mainly during the stationary phase. RNase HI and RNase HII may have similar substrate selectivity.
Project description:We tested the activities of four predicated RNase H enzymes, including two RNase HI-type enzymes, in addition to RNase HII (RnhB) and RNase HIII (RnhC), on several RNA-DNA hybrid substrates with different divalent metal cations. We found that the two RNase HI-type enzymes, YpdQ and YpeP, failed to show activity on the three substrates tested. RNase HII and RNase HIII cleaved all the substrates tested, although the activity was dependent on the metal made available. We show that Bacillus subtilis RNase HII and RNase HIII are both able to incise 5' to a single ribonucleoside monophosphate (rNMP). We show that RNase HIII incision at a single rNMP occurs most efficiently with Mn2+, an activity we found to be conserved among other Gram-positive RNase HIII enzymes. Characterization of RNases HII and HIII with metal concentrations in the physiological range showed that RNase HII can cleave at single rNMPs embedded in DNA while RNase HIII is far less effective. Further, using metal concentrations within the physiological range, RNase HIII efficiently cleaved longer RNA-DNA hybrids lacking an RNA-DNA junction, while RNase HII was much less effective. Phenotypic analysis showed that cells with an rnhC deletion were sensitive to hydroxyurea (HU). In contrast, cells with an rnhB deletion showed wild-type growth in the presence of HU, supporting the hypothesis that RNases HII and HIII have distinct substrate specificities in vivo This work demonstrates how metal availability influences the substrate recognition and activity of RNases HII and HIII, providing insight into their functions in vivo IMPORTANCE RNase H represents a class of proteins that cleave RNA-DNA hybrids, helping resolve R-loops and Okazaki fragments, as well as initiating the process of ribonucleotide excision repair (RER). We investigated the activities of four Bacillus subtilis RNase H enzymes and found that only RNases HII and HIII have activity and that their substrate preference is dependent on metal availability. To understand the factors that contribute to RNase HII and RNase HIII substrate preference, we show that in the presence of metal concentrations within the physiological range, RNases HII and HIII have distinct activities on different RNA-DNA hybrids. This work provides insight into how RNases HII and HIII repair the broad range of RNA-DNA hybrids that form in Gram-positive bacteria.
Project description:Posttranscriptional regulation plays an essential role in the quick adaptation of pathogenic bacteria to host environments, and RNases play key roles in this process by modifying small RNAs and mRNAs. We find that the Pseudomonas aeruginosa endonuclease YbeY is required for rRNA processing and the bacterial virulence in a murine acute pneumonia model. Transcriptomic analyses reveal that knocking out the ybeY gene results in downregulation of oxidative stress response genes, including the catalase genes katA and katB Consistently, the ybeY mutant is more susceptible to H2O2 and neutrophil-mediated killing. Overexpression of katA restores the bacterial tolerance to H2O2 and neutrophil killing as well as virulence. We further find that the downregulation of the oxidative stress response genes is due to defective expression of the stationary-phase sigma factor RpoS. We demonstrate an autoregulatory mechanism of RpoS and find that ybeY mutation increases the level of a small RNA, ReaL, which directly represses the translation of rpoS through the 5' UTR of its mRNA and subsequently reduces the expression of the oxidative stress response genes. In vitro assays demonstrate direct degradation of ReaL by YbeY. Deletion of reaL or overexpression of rpoS in the ybeY mutant restores the bacterial tolerance to oxidative stress and the virulence. We also demonstrate that YbeZ binds to YbeY and is involved in the 16S rRNA processing and regulation of reaL and rpoS as well as the bacterial virulence. Overall, our results reveal pleiotropic roles of YbeY and the YbeY-mediated regulation of rpoS through ReaL.IMPORTANCE The increasing bacterial antibiotic resistance imposes a severe threat to human health. For the development of effective treatment and prevention strategies, it is critical to understand the mechanisms employed by bacteria to grow in the human body. Posttranscriptional regulation plays an important role in bacterial adaptation to environmental changes. RNases and small RNAs are key players in this regulation. In this study, we demonstrate critical roles of the RNase YbeY in the virulence of the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa We further identify the small RNA ReaL as the direct target of YbeY and elucidate the YbeY-regulated pathway on the expression of bacterial virulence factors. Our results shed light on the complex regulatory network of P. aeruginosa and indicate that inference with the YbeY-mediated regulatory pathway might be a valid strategy for the development of a novel treatment strategy.
Project description:We have cloned the gene encoding RNase HII (RNase HIIPk) from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus kodakaraensis KOD1 by screening of a library for clones that suppressed the temperature-sensitive growth phenotype of an rnh mutant strain of Escherichia coli. This gene was expressed in an rnh mutant strain of E. coli, the recombinant enzyme was purified, and its biochemical properties were compared with those of E. coli RNases HI and HII. RNase HIIPk is composed of 228 amino acid residues (molecular weight, 25,799) and acts as a monomer. Its amino acid sequence showed little similarity to those of enzymes that are members of the RNase HI family of proteins but showed 40, 31, and 25% identities to those of Methanococcus jannaschii, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and E. coli RNase HII proteins, respectively. The enzymatic activity was determined at 30 degreesC and pH 8.0 by use of an M13 DNA-RNA hybrid as a substrate. Under these conditions, the most preferred metal ions were Co2+ for RNase HIIPk, Mn2+ for E. coli RNase HII, and Mg2+ for E. coli RNase HI. The specific activity of RNase HIIPk determined in the presence of the most preferred metal ion was 6. 8-fold higher than that of E. coli RNase HII and 4.5-fold lower than that of E. coli RNase HI. Like E. coli RNase HI, RNase HIIPk and E. coli RNase HII cleave the RNA strand of an RNA-DNA hybrid endonucleolytically at the P-O3' bond. In addition, these enzymes cleave oligomeric substrates in a similar manner. These results suggest that RNase HIIPk and E. coli RNases HI and HII are structurally and functionally related to one another.
Project description:Two RNases H of mammalian tissues have been described: RNase HI, the activity of which was found to rise during DNA replication, and RNase HII, which may be involved in transcription. RNase HI is the major mammalian enzyme representing around 85% of the total RNase H activity in the cell. By using highly purified calf thymus RNase HI we identified the sequences of several tryptic peptides. This information enabled us to determine the sequence of the cDNA coding for the large subunit of human RNase HI. The corresponding ORF of 897 nt defines a polypeptide of relative molecular mass of 33,367, which is in agreement with the molecular mass obtained earlier by SDS/PAGE. Expression of the cloned ORF in Escherichia coli leads to a polypeptide, which is specifically recognized by an antiserum raised against calf thymus RNase HI. Interestingly, the deduced amino acid sequence of this subunit of human RNase HI displays significant homology to RNase HII from E. coli, an enzyme of unknown function and previously judged as a minor activity. This finding suggests an evolutionary link between the mammalian RNases HI and the prokaryotic RNases HII. The idea of a mammalian RNase HI large subunit being a strongly conserved protein is substantiated by the existence of homologous ORFs in the genomes of other eukaryotes and of all eubacteria and archaebacteria that have been completely sequenced.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The unfolding speed of some hyperthermophilic proteins is dramatically lower than that of their mesostable homologs. Ribonuclease HII from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Thermococcus kodakaraensis (Tk-RNase HII) is stabilized by its remarkably slow unfolding rate, whereas RNase HI from the thermophilic bacterium Thermus thermophilus (Tt-RNase HI) unfolds rapidly, comparable with to that of RNase HI from Escherichia coli (Ec-RNase HI). RESULTS: To clarify whether the difference in the unfolding rate is due to differences in the types of RNase H or differences in proteins from archaea and bacteria, we examined the equilibrium stability and unfolding reaction of RNases HII from the hyperthermophilic bacteria Thermotoga maritima (Tm-RNase HII) and Aquifex aeolicus (Aa-RNase HII) and RNase HI from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus tokodaii (Sto-RNase HI). These proteins from hyperthermophiles are more stable than Ec-RNase HI over all the temperature ranges examined. The observed unfolding speeds of all hyperstable proteins at the different denaturant concentrations studied are much lower than those of Ec-RNase HI, which is in accordance with the familiar slow unfolding of hyperstable proteins. However, the unfolding rate constants of these RNases H in water are dispersed, and the unfolding rate constant of thermophilic archaeal proteins is lower than that of thermophilic bacterial proteins. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the nature of slow unfolding of thermophilic proteins is determined by the evolutionary history of the organisms involved. The unfolding rate constants in water are related to the amount of buried hydrophobic residues in the tertiary structure.
Project description:YbeY is part of a core set of RNases in Escherichia coli and other bacteria. This highly conserved endoribonuclease has been implicated in several important processes such as 16S rRNA 3' end maturation, 70S ribosome quality control, and regulation of mRNAs and small noncoding RNAs, thereby affecting cellular viability, stress tolerance, and pathogenic and symbiotic behavior of bacteria. Thus, YbeY likely interacts with numerous protein or RNA partners that are involved in various aspects of cellular physiology. Using a bacterial two-hybrid system, we identified several proteins that interact with YbeY, including ribosomal protein S11, the ribosome-associated GTPases Era and Der, YbeZ, and SpoT. In particular, the interaction of YbeY with S11 and Era provides insight into YbeY's involvement in the 16S rRNA maturation process. The three-way association between YbeY, S11, and Era suggests that YbeY is recruited to the ribosome where it could cleave the 17S rRNA precursor endonucleolytically at or near the 3' end maturation site. Analysis of YbeY missense mutants shows that a highly conserved beta-sheet in YbeY-and not amino acids known to be important for YbeY's RNase activity-functions as the interface between YbeY and S11. This protein-interacting interface of YbeY is needed for correct rRNA maturation and stress regulation, as missense mutants show significant phenotypic defects. Additionally, structure-based in silico prediction of putative interactions between YbeY and the Era-30S complex through protein docking agrees well with the in vivo results. IMPORTANCE:Ribosomes are ribonucleoprotein complexes responsible for a key cellular function, protein synthesis. Their assembly is a highly coordinated process of RNA cleavage, RNA posttranscriptional modification, RNA conformational changes, and protein-binding events. Many open questions remain after almost 5 decades of study, including which RNase is responsible for final processing of the 16S rRNA 3' end. The highly conserved RNase YbeY, belonging to a core set of RNases essential in many bacteria, was previously shown to participate in 16S rRNA processing and ribosome quality control. However, detailed mechanistic insight into YbeY's ribosome-associated function has remained elusive. This work provides the first evidence that YbeY is recruited to the ribosome through interaction with proteins involved in ribosome biogenesis (i.e., ribosomal protein S11, Era). In addition, we identified key residues of YbeY involved in the interaction with S11 and propose a possible binding mode of YbeY to the ribosome using in silico docking.
Project description:The presence of ribonucleoside monophosphates (rNMPs) in nuclear DNA decreases genome stability. To ensure survival despite rNMP insertions, cells have evolved a complex network of DNA repair mechanisms, in which the ribonucleotide excision repair pathway, initiated by type 2 RNase H (RNase HII/2), plays a major role. We recently demonstrated that eukaryotic RNase H2 cannot repair damage, that is, ribose monophosphate abasic (both apurinic or apyrimidinic) site (rAP) or oxidized rNMP embedded in DNA. Currently, it remains unclear why RNase H2 is unable to repair these modified nucleic acids having either only a sugar moiety or an oxidized base. Here, we compared the endoribonuclease specificity of the RNase HII enzymes from the archaeon Pyrococcus abyssi and the bacterium Escherichia coli, examining their ability to process damaged rNMPs embedded in DNA in vitro We found that E. coli RNase HII cleaves both rAP and oxidized rNMP sites. In contrast, like the eukaryotic RNase H2, P. abyssi RNase HII did not display any rAP or oxidized rNMP incision activities, even though it recognized them. Notably, the archaeal enzyme was also inactive on a mismatched rNMP, whereas the E. coli enzyme displayed a strong preference for the mispaired rNMP over the paired rNMP in DNA. On the basis of our biochemical findings and also structural modeling analyses of RNase HII/2 proteins from organisms belonging to all three domains of life, we propose that RNases HII/2's dual roles in ribonucleotide excision repair and RNA/DNA hydrolysis result in limited acceptance of modified rNMPs embedded in DNA.
Project description:As part of collaborative efforts to characterize virulence factors from Staphylococcus aureus, methods for the large-scale recombinant production of RNase HIII from S. aureus subspecies MRSA252 (Sa-RNase HIII) have been developed. RNase HIII-type ribonucleases are poorly characterized members of the RNase H group of endonucleases which hydrolyze RNA from RNA/DNA hybrids and are thought to be involved in DNA replication and repair. They are characterized by N-terminal extensions of unknown function that do not share sequence homology with the N-terminal extensions of bacterial RNases HI and RNases HII. Sa-RNase HIII was crystallized in the orthorhombic space group P2(1)2(1)2(1), with unit-cell parameters a=48.9, b=74.2, c=127.5?Å, and diffracted to 2.6?Å resolution.
Project description:YbeY, a highly conserved protein, is an RNase in E. coli and plays key roles in both processing of the critical 3' end of 16 S rRNA and in 70 S ribosome quality control under stress. These central roles account for YbeY's inclusion in the postulated minimal bacterial genome. However, YbeY is not essential in E. coli although loss of ybeY severely sensitizes it to multiple physiological stresses. Here, we show that YbeY is an essential endoribonuclease in Vibrio cholerae and is crucial for virulence, stress regulation, RNA processing and ribosome quality control, and is part of a core set of RNases essential in most representative pathogens. To understand its function, we analyzed the rRNA and ribosome profiles of a V. cholerae strain partially depleted for YbeY and other RNase mutants associated with 16 S rRNA processing; our results demonstrate that YbeY is also crucial for 16 S rRNA 3' end maturation in V. cholerae and that its depletion impedes subunit assembly into 70 S ribosomes. YbeY's importance to V. cholerae pathogenesis was demonstrated by the complete loss of mice colonization and biofilm formation, reduced cholera toxin production, and altered expression levels of virulence-associated small RNAs of a V. cholerae strain partially depleted for YbeY. Notably, the ybeY genes of several distantly related pathogens can fully complement an E. coli ΔybeY strain under various stress conditions, demonstrating the high conservation of YbeY's activity in stress regulation. Taken together, this work provides the first comprehensive exploration of YbeY's physiological role in a human pathogen, showing its conserved function across species in essential cellular processes.
Project description:Tight control of cell division is essential for survival of most organisms. For prokaryotes, the regulatory mechanisms involved in the control of cell division are mostly unknown. We show that the small non-coding sRNA StsR has an important role in controlling cell division and growth in the alpha-proteobacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides. StsR is strongly induced by stress conditions and in stationary phase by the alternative sigma factors RpoHI/HII, thereby providing a regulatory link between cell division and environmental cues. Compared to the wild type, a mutant lacking StsR enters stationary phase later and more rapidly resumes growth after stationary phase. A target of StsR is UpsM, the most abundant sRNA in the exponential phase. It is derived from partial transcriptional termination within the 5' untranslated region of the mRNA of the division and cell wall (dcw) gene cluster. StsR binds to UpsM as well as to the 5' UTR of the dcw mRNA and the sRNA-sRNA and sRNA-mRNA interactions lead to a conformational change that triggers cleavage by the ribonuclease RNase E, affecting the level of dcw mRNAs and limiting growth. These findings provide interesting new insights into the role of sRNA-mediated regulation of cell division during the adaptation to environmental changes.