The Pseudomonas aeruginosa CrcZ RNA interferes with Hfq-mediated riboregulation.
ABSTRACT: The RNA chaperone Hfq regulates virulence and metabolism in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. During carbon catabolite repression (CCR) Hfq together with the catabolite repression control protein Crc can act as a translational repressor of catabolic genes. Upon relief of CCR, the level of the Hfq-titrating RNA CrcZ is increasing, which in turn abrogates Hfq-mediated translational repression. As the interdependence of Hfq-mediated and RNA based control mechanisms is poorly understood, we explored the possibility whether the regulatory RNA CrcZ can interfere with riboregulation. We first substantiate that the P. aeruginosa Hfq is proficient and required for riboregulation of the transcriptional activator gene antR by the small RNA PrrF1-2. Our studies further revealed that CrcZ can interfere with PrrF1-2/Hfq-mediated regulation of antR. The competition for Hfq can be rationalized by the higher affinity of Hfq for CrcZ than for antR mRNA.
Project description:Carbon Catabolite repression (CCR) allows a fast adaptation of Bacteria to changing nutrient supplies. The Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PAO1) catabolite repression control protein (Crc) was deemed to act as a translational regulator, repressing functions involved in uptake and utilization of carbon sources. However, Crc of PAO1 was recently shown to be devoid of RNA binding activity. In this study the RNA chaperone Hfq was identified as the principle post-transcriptional regulator of CCR in PAO1. Hfq is shown to bind to A-rich sequences within the ribosome binding site of the model mRNA amiE, and to repress translation in vitro and in vivo. We further report that Crc plays an unknown ancillary role, as full-fledged repression of amiE and other CCR-regulated mRNAs in vivo required its presence. Moreover, we show that the regulatory RNA CrcZ, transcription of which is augmented when CCR is alleviated, binds to Hfq with high affinity. This study on CCR in PAO1 revealed a novel concept for Hfq function, wherein the regulatory RNA CrcZ acts as a decoy to abrogate Hfq-mediated translational repression of catabolic genes and thus highlights the central role of RNA based regulation in CCR of PAO1.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) can thrive in anaerobic biofilms in the lungs of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Here, we show that CrcZ is the most abundant PA14 RNA bound to the global regulator Hfq in anoxic biofilms grown in cystic fibrosis sputum medium. Hfq was crucial for anoxic biofilm formation. This observation complied with an RNAseq based transcriptome analysis and follow up studies that implicated Hfq in regulation of a central step preceding denitrification. CrcZ is known to act as a decoy that sequesters Hfq during relief of carbon catabolite repression, which in turn alleviates Hfq-mediated translational repression of catabolic genes. We therefore inferred that CrcZ indirectly impacts on biofilm formation by competing for Hfq. This hypothesis was supported by the findings that over-production of CrcZ mirrored the biofilm phenotype of the hfq deletion mutant, and that deletion of the crcZ gene augmented biofilm formation. To our knowledge, this is the first example where competition for Hfq by CrcZ cross-regulates an Hfq-dependent physiological process unrelated to carbon metabolism.
Project description:Azotobacter vinelandii is a nitrogen-fixing bacterium of the Pseudomonadaceae family that prefers the use of organic acids rather than carbohydrates. Thus, in a mixture of acetate-glucose, glucose is consumed only after acetate is exhausted. In a previous work, we investigated the molecular basis of this carbon catabolite repression (CCR) process under diazotrophic conditions. In the presence of acetate, Crc-Hfq inhibited translation of the gluP mRNA, encoding the glucose transporter in A. vinelandii. Herein, we investigated the regulation in the expression of the small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) crcZ and crcY, which are known to antagonize the repressing activity of Hfq-Crc. Our results indicated higher expression levels of the sRNAs crcZ and crcY under low CCR conditions (i.e. glucose), in relation to the strong one (acetate one). In addition, we also explored the process of CCR in the presence of ammonium. Our results revealed that CCR also occurs under non-diazotrophic conditions as we detected a hierarchy in the utilization of the supplied carbon sources, which was consistent with the higher expression level of the crcZ/Y sRNAs during glucose catabolism. Analysis of the promoters driving transcription of crcZ and crcY confirmed that they were RpoN-dependent but we also detected a processed form of CrcZ (CrcZ*) in the RpoN-deficient strain derived from a cbrB-crcZ co-transcript. CrcZ* was functional and sufficient to allow the assimilation of acetate.
Project description:The opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is responsible for ~ 10% of hospital-acquired infections worldwide. It is notorious for its high level resistance toward many antibiotics, and the number of multi-drug resistant clinical isolates is steadily increasing. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying drug resistance is crucial for the development of novel antimicrobials and alternative strategies such as enhanced sensitization of bacteria to antibiotics in use. In P. aeruginosa several uptake channels for amino-acids and carbon sources can serve simultaneously as entry ports for antibiotics. The respective genes are often controlled by carbon catabolite repression (CCR). We have recently shown that Hfq in concert with Crc acts as a translational repressor during CCR. This function is counteracted by the regulatory RNA CrcZ, which functions as a decoy to abrogate Hfq-mediated translational repression of catabolic genes. Here, we report an increased susceptibility of P. aeruginosa hfq deletion strains to different classes of antibiotics. Transcriptome analyses indicated that Hfq impacts on different mechanisms known to be involved in antibiotic susceptibility, viz import and efflux, energy metabolism, cell wall and LPS composition as well as on the c-di-GMP levels. Furthermore, we show that sequestration of Hfq by CrcZ, which was over-produced or induced by non-preferred carbon-sources, enhances the sensitivity toward antibiotics. Thus, controlled synthesis of CrcZ could provide a means to (re)sensitize P. aeruginosa to different classes of antibiotics.
Project description:Carbapenems are often the antibiotics of choice to combat life threatening infections caused by the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The outer membrane porins OprD and OpdP serve as entry ports for carbapenems. Here, we report that the RNA chaperone Hfq governs post-transcriptional regulation of the oprD and opdP genes in a distinctive manner. Hfq together with the recently described small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) ErsA and Sr0161 is shown to mediate translational repression of oprD, whereas opdP appears not to be regulated by sRNAs. At variance, our data indicate that opdP is translationally repressed by a regulatory complex consisting of Hfq and the catabolite repression protein Crc, an assembly known to be key to carbon catabolite repression in P. aeruginosa. The regulatory RNA CrcZ, which is up-regulated during growth of P. aeruginosa on less preferred carbon sources, is known to sequester Hfq, which relieves Hfq-mediated translational repression of genes. The differential carbapenem susceptibility during growth on different carbon sources can thus be understood in light of Hfq-dependent oprD/opdP regulation and of the antagonizing function of the CrcZ RNA on Hfq regulatory complexes.
Project description:Metabolically versatile bacteria use catabolite repression control to select their preferred carbon sources, thus optimizing carbon metabolism. In pseudomonads, this occurs through the combined action of the proteins Hfq and Crc, which form stable tripartite complexes at target mRNAs, inhibiting their translation. The activity of Hfq/Crc is antagonised by small RNAs of the CrcZ family, the amounts of which vary according to carbon availability. The present work examines the role of Pseudomonas putida Hfq protein under conditions of low-level catabolite repression, in which Crc protein would have a minor role since it is sequestered by CrcZ/CrcY. The results suggest that, under these conditions, Hfq remains operative and plays an important role in iron homeostasis. In this scenario, Crc appears to participate indirectly by helping CrcZ/CrcY to control the amount of free Hfq in the cell. Iron homeostasis in pseudomonads relies on regulatory elements such as the Fur protein, the PrrF1-2 sRNAs, and several extracytoplasmic sigma factors. Our results show that the absence of Hfq is paralleled by a reduction in PrrF1-2 small RNAs. Hfq thus provides a regulatory link between iron and carbon metabolism, coordinating the iron supply to meet the needs of the enzymes operational under particular nutritional regimes. Overall design: Total RNA from wild-ype and three mutants of P. putida KT2440 was deep-sequenced and gene expressions were quantified. Differential expression of bacterial genes for each mutant against wild type was determined.
Project description:In Pseudomonas putida, the Hfq and Crc proteins regulate the expression of many genes in response to nutritional and environmental cues, by binding to mRNAs that bear specific target motifs and inhibiting their translation. The effect of these two proteins is antagonized by the CrcZ and CrcY small RNAs (sRNAs), the levels of which vary greatly according to growth conditions. The crcZ and crcY genes are transcribed from promoters PcrcZ and PcrcY, respectively, a process that relies on the CbrB transcriptional activator and the RpoN ? factor. Here we show that crcZ can also be transcribed from the promoter of the immediate upstream gene, cbrB, a weak constitutive promoter. The cbrB-crcZ transcript was processed to render a sRNA very similar in size to the CrcZ produced from promoter PcrcZ The processed sRNA, termed CrcZ*, was able to antagonize Hfq/Crc because, when provided in trans, it relieved the deregulated Hfq/Crc-dependent hyperrepressing phenotype of a ?crcZ?crcY strain. CrcZ* may help in attaining basal levels of CrcZ/CrcZ* that are sufficient to protect the cell from an excessive Hfq/Crc-dependent repression. Since a functional sRNA can be produced from PcrcZ, an inducible strong promoter, or by cleavage of the cbrB-crcZ mRNA, crcZ can be considered a 3'-untranslated region of the cbrB-crcZ mRNA. In the absence of Hfq, the processed form of CrcZ was not observed. In addition, we show that Crc and Hfq increase CrcZ stability, which supports the idea that these proteins can form a complex with CrcZ and protect it from degradation by RNases.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic Gram-negative pathogen that requires iron for growth and virulence. Under low-iron conditions, P. aeruginosa transcribes two highly identical (95%) small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs), PrrF1 and PrrF2, which are required for virulence in acute murine lung infection models. The PrrF sRNAs promote the production of 2-akyl-4(1H)-quinolone metabolites (AQs) that mediate a range of biological activities, including quorum sensing and polymicrobial interactions. Here, we show that the PrrF1 and PrrF2 sRNAs promote AQ production by redundantly inhibiting translation of antR, which encodes a transcriptional activator of the anthranilate degradation genes. A combination of genetic and biophysical analyses was used to define the sequence requirements for PrrF regulation of antR, demonstrating that the PrrF sRNAs interact with the antR 5' untranslated region (UTR) at sequences overlapping the translational start site of this mRNA. The P. aeruginosa Hfq protein interacted with UA-rich sequences in both PrrF sRNAs (Kd [dissociation constant] = 50 nM and 70 nM). Hfq bound with lower affinity to the antR mRNA (0.3 ?M), and PrrF was able to bind to antR mRNA in the absence of Hfq. Nevertheless, Hfq increased the rate of PrrF annealing to the antR UTR by 10-fold. These studies provide a mechanistic description of how the PrrF1 and PrrF2 sRNAs mediate virulence traits, such as AQ production, in P. aeruginosaIMPORTANCE The iron-responsive PrrF sRNAs play a central role in regulating P. aeruginosa iron homeostasis and pathogenesis, yet the molecular mechanisms by which PrrF regulates gene expression are largely unknown. In this study, we used genetic and biophysical analyses to define the interactions of the PrrF sRNAs with Hfq, an RNA annealer, and the antR mRNA, which has downstream effects on quorum sensing and virulence factor production. These studies provide a comprehensive mechanistic analysis of how the PrrF sRNAs regulate virulence trait production through a key mRNA target in P. aeruginosa.
Project description:Small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are important components of many regulatory pathways in bacteria and play key roles in regulating factors important for virulence. Carbon catabolite repression control is modulated by small RNAs (crcZ or crcZ and crcY) in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Pseudomonas putida. In this study, we demonstrate that expression of crcZ and crcX (formerly designated psr1 and psr2, respectively) is dependent upon RpoN together with the two-component system CbrAB, and is influenced by the carbon source present in the medium in the model plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000. The distribution of the members of the Crc ncRNA family was also determined by screening available genomic sequences of the Pseudomonads. Interestingly, variable numbers of the Crc family members exist in Pseudomonas genomes. The ncRNAs are comprised of three main subfamilies, named CrcZ, CrcX and CrcY. Most importantly the CrcX subfamily appears to be unique to all P. syringae strains sequenced to date.
Project description:In metabolically versatile bacteria, carbon catabolite repression (CCR) facilitates the preferential assimilation of the most efficient carbon sources, improving growth rate and fitness. In Pseudomonas putida, the Crc protein and the CrcZ and CrcY small RNAs (sRNAs), which are believed to antagonise Crc, are key players in CCR. Contrary to what occurs in other bacterial species, succinate or glucose elicit a weak CCR in this bacterium. We combined metabolic, transcriptomics and constraints-based metabolic flux analyses to clarify whether P. putida prefers succinate or glucose, and the role of the Crc/CrcZ-CrcY regulatory system in their metabolization. Succinate was consumed faster than glucose and allowed a higher growth rate. However, both compounds were co-metabolised when provided simultaneously. The levels of CrcZ and CrcY were lower when both substrates were present than when only one of them was provided, suggesting a role for Crc in coordinating metabolism. Metabolic reconstructions suggested that, when both substrates are present, Crc works to organize a metabolism in which carbon compounds flow in two opposite directions: from glucose to pyruvate, and from succinate to pyruvate. Therefore, Crc serves not only to favour the assimilation of preferred compounds, but also to balance the carbon fluxes, optimising metabolism and growth. Overall design: mRNA profiles of Pseudomonas putida KT2440, KTCRC and KT2440-ZY during glucose and succinate co-feeding generated by deep sequencing, in duplicate, using Illumina technology