Codon usage and modular interactions between messenger RNA coding regions and small RNAs in Escherichia coli.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Small RNAs (sRNAs) are key regulators of gene expression in bacteria. In addition to modulating translation initiation, sRNAs can interact with mRNA coding regions to regulate mRNA stability and translation efficiency, enhancing or impeding progression of the ribosome along the mRNA. Since most amino acids are decoded by more than one codon (synonymous) we asked as to whether there is a codon bias in the interaction of sRNAs with coding regions of mRNAs. Therefore, we explored whether there are differences in codon usage or tRNA availability according to whether an mRNA is regulated by sRNAs or not. We also explored these parameters in the coding interaction regions in mRNAs. We focused our analysis on sRNAs that regulate multiple mRNAs. RESULTS:We found differences in codon adaptation index and tRNA adaptation index between sRNA-regulated and non-sRNA-regulated mRNAs. Interestingly, the sRNA-mRNA interacting regions tended to be enriched in unpreferred codons decoded by scarce tRNAs. We also found that sRNAs with multiple targets often contained modular segments capable of recognizing conserved motifs among these mRNAs. CONCLUSIONS:Our results show that sRNAs in E. coli tend to recognize mRNA coding regions in which the ribosome is predicted to advance at low speeds. Identified motifs in interacting regions are conserved among mRNAs that are recognized by the same sRNA.
Project description:Bacteria express large numbers of non-coding, regulatory RNAs known as 'small RNAs' (sRNAs). sRNAs typically regulate expression of multiple target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) through base-pairing interactions. sRNA:mRNA base-pairing often results in altered mRNA stability and/or altered translation initiation. Computational identification of sRNA targets is challenging due to the requirement for only short regions of base-pairing that can accommodate mismatches. Experimental approaches have been applied to identify sRNA targets on a genomic scale, but these focus only on those targets regulated at the level of mRNA stability. Here, we utilize ribosome profiling (Ribo-seq) to experimentally identify regulatory targets of the Escherichia coli sRNA RyhB. We not only validate a majority of known RyhB targets using the Ribo-seq approach, but also discover many novel ones. We further confirm regulation of a selection of known and novel targets using targeted reporter assays. By mutating nucleotides in the mRNA of a newly discovered target, we demonstrate direct regulation of this target by RyhB. Moreover, we show that Ribo-seq distinguishes between mRNAs regulated at the level of RNA stability and those regulated at the level of translation. Thus, Ribo-seq represents a powerful approach for genome-scale identification of sRNA targets.
Project description:RNA sequencing studies have identified hundreds of non-coding RNAs in bacteria, including regulatory small RNA (sRNA). However, our understanding of sRNA function has lagged behind their identification due to a lack of tools for the high-throughput analysis of RNA-RNA interactions in bacteria. Here we demonstrate that in vivo sRNA-mRNA duplexes can be recovered using UV-crosslinking, ligation and sequencing of hybrids (CLASH). Many sRNAs recruit the endoribonuclease, RNase E, to facilitate processing of mRNAs. We were able to recover base-paired sRNA-mRNA duplexes in association with RNase E, allowing proximity-dependent ligation and sequencing of cognate sRNA-mRNA pairs as chimeric reads. We verified that this approach captures bona fide sRNA-mRNA interactions. Clustering analyses identified novel sRNA seed regions and sets of potentially co-regulated target mRNAs. We identified multiple mRNA targets for the pathotype-specific sRNA Esr41, which was shown to regulate colicin sensitivity and iron transport in E. coli Numerous sRNA interactions were also identified with non-coding RNAs, including sRNAs and tRNAs, demonstrating the high complexity of the sRNA interactome.
Project description:Bacterial small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) play important roles in sensing environment changes through sRNA-target mRNA interactions. However, the current strategy for detecting sRNA-mRNA interactions usually combines bioinformatics prediction and experimental verification, which is hampered by low prediction accuracy and low-throughput. Additionally, among the 4736 sequenced bacterial genomes, only about 2164 sRNAs from 319 strains have been described. Furthermore, target mRNAs of only 157 sRNAs have been uncovered. Obviously, highly efficient methods were required to detect sRNA-mRNA interactions in the sequenced genomes. This study aimed to apply a modified CLASH (cross-linking, ligation and sequencing hybrids) method to detect RNA-RNA interactions in E. coli, a model bacterial organism.Statistically significant interactions were detected in 29 transcript pairs. To the best of our knowledge, 24 pairs were reported for the first time and were novel RNA interactions, including tRNA-tRNA, tRNA-ncRNA (non-coding RNA), tRNA-rRNA, rRNA-mRNA, rRNA-ncRNA, rRNA-rRNA, rRNA-IGT (intergenic transcript), and tRNA-IGT interactions.Discovery of novel RNA-RNA interactions in the present study demonstrates that RNA-RNA interactions might be far more complicated than ever expected. New methods may be required to help discover more novel RNA-RNA interactions. The present work describes a high-throughput protocol not only for discovering new RNA interactions, but also directly obtaining base-pairing sequences, which should be useful in assessing RNA structure and interactions.
Project description:Research into post-transcriptional control of mRNAs by small noncoding RNAs (sRNAs) in the model bacteria Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica has mainly focused on sRNAs that associate with the RNA chaperone Hfq. However, the recent discovery of the protein ProQ as a common binding partner that stabilizes a distinct large class of structured sRNAs suggests that additional RNA regulons exist in these organisms. The cellular functions and molecular mechanisms of these new ProQ-dependent sRNAs are largely unknown. Here, we report in Salmonella Typhimurium the mode-of-action of RaiZ, a ProQ-dependent sRNA that is made from the 3' end of the mRNA encoding ribosome-inactivating protein RaiA. We show that RaiZ is a base-pairing sRNA that represses in trans the mRNA of histone-like protein HU-?. RaiZ forms an RNA duplex with the ribosome-binding site of hupA mRNA, facilitated by ProQ, to prevent 30S ribosome loading and protein synthesis of HU-?. Similarities and differences between ProQ- and Hfq-mediated regulation will be discussed.
Project description:Small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) in eukaryotes and bacteria play an important role in the regulation of gene expression either by binding to regulatory proteins or directly to target mRNAs. Two of the best-characterized bacterial sRNAs, Spot42 and RyhB, form a complementary pair with the ribosome binding region of their target mRNAs, thereby inhibiting translation or promoting mRNA degradation. To investigate the steady-state and dynamic potential of such sRNAs, we examine the 2 key parameters characterizing sRNA regulation: the capacity to overexpress the sRNA relative to its target mRNA and the speed at which the target mRNA is irreversibly inactivated. We demonstrate different methods to determine these 2 key parameters, for Spot42 and RyhB, which combine biochemical and genetic experiments with computational analysis. We have developed a mathematical model that describes the functional properties of sRNAs with various characteristic parameters. We observed that Spot42 and RyhB function in distinctive parameter regimes, which result in divergent mechanisms.
Project description:Hfq is a ubiquitous Sm-like RNA-binding protein in bacteria involved in physiological fitness and pathogenesis, while its in vivo binding nature remains elusive. Here we reported genome-wide Hfq-bound RNAs in Yersinia pestis, a causative agent of plague, by using cross-linking immunoprecipitation coupled with deep sequencing (CLIP-seq) approach. We show that the Hfq binding density is enriched in more than 80% mRNAs of Y. pestis and that Hfq also globally binds noncoding small RNAs (sRNAs) encoded by the intergenic, antisense, and 3' regions of mRNAs. An Hfq U-rich stretch is highly enriched in sRNAs, while motifs partially complementary to AGAAUAA and GGGGAUUA are enriched in both mRNAs and sRNAs. Hfq-binding motifs are enriched at both terminal sites and in the gene body of mRNAs. Surprisingly, a large fraction of the sRNA and mRNA regions bound by Hfq and those downstream are destabilized, likely via a 5'P-activated RNase E degradation pathway, which is consistent with a model in which Hfq facilitates sRNA-mRNA base pairing and the coupled degradation in Y. pestis These results together have presented a high-quality Hfq-RNA interaction map in Y. pestis, which should be important for further deciphering the regulatory role of Hfq-sRNAs in Y. pestis IMPORTANCE Discovered in 1968 as an Escherichia coli host factor that was essential for replication of the bacteriophage Q?, the Hfq protein is a ubiquitous and highly abundant RNA-binding protein in many bacteria. With the assistance of Hfq, small RNAs in bacteria play important roles in regulating the stability and translation of mRNAs by base pairing. In this study, we want to elucidate the Hfq-assisted sRNA-mRNA regulation in Yersinia pestis A global map of Hfq interaction sites in Y. pestis was obtained by sequencing cDNAs converted from the Hfq-bound RNA fragments using UV cross-linking coupled immunoprecipitation technology. We demonstrate that Hfq could bind to hundreds of sRNAs and the majority of mRNAs in Y. pestis The enriched binding motifs in sRNAs and mRNAs are complementary to each other, suggesting a general base-pairing mechanism for sRNA-mRNA interaction. The Hfq-bound sRNA and mRNA regions were both destabilized. The results suggest that Hfq binding facilitates sRNA-mRNA base pairing and coordinates their degradation, which might enable Hfq to surveil the homeostasis of most mRNAs in bacteria.
Project description:Regulation of gene expression at the translational level allows rapid adaptation of cellular proteomes to quickly changing environmental conditions and is thus central for prokaryotic organisms. Small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) have been reported to effectively orchestrate translation control in bacteria and archaea mainly by targeting mRNAs by partial base complementarity. Here we report an unprecedented mechanism how sRNAs are capable of modulating protein biosynthesis in the halophilic archaeon Haloferax volcanii. By analyzing the ribosome-associated ncRNAs (rancRNAs) under different stress conditions we identified an intergenic sRNA, termed rancRNA_s194, that is primarily expressed during exponential growth under all tested conditions. By interaction with the ribosome rancRNA_s194 inhibits peptide bond formation and protein synthesis in vitro but appears to target a specific mRNA in vivo. The respective knock-out strain shows a reduced lag phase in media containing xylose as sole carbon source and outcompetes the wildtype cells under these conditions. Mass spectrometry, polysome profiling and mRNA binding competition experiments suggest that rancRNA_s194 prevents the cstA mRNA from being efficiently translated by H. volcanii ribosomes. These findings enlarge the regulatory repertoire of archaeal sRNAs in modulating post-transcriptional gene expression.
Project description:Small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) are emerging regulatory elements in bacteria. The Vibrio cholerae sRNA VrrA has previously been shown to down-regulate outer membrane proteins (OmpA and OmpT) and biofilm matrix protein (RbmC) by base-pairing with the 5' region of the corresponding mRNAs. In this study, we present an additional target of VrrA in V. cholerae, the mRNA coding for the ribosome binding protein Vrp. Vrp is homologous to ribosome-associated inhibitor A (RaiA) of Escherichia coli which facilitates stationary phase survival through ribosome hibernation. We show that VrrA down-regulates Vrp protein synthesis by base-pairing to the 5' region of vrp mRNA and that the regulation requires the RNA chaperone protein, Hfq. We further demonstrate that Vrp is highly expressed during stationary phase growth and associates with the ribosome of V. cholerae. The effect of the Vrp protein in starvation survival is synergistic with that of the VC2530 protein, a homolog of the E. coli hibernation promoting factor HPF, suggesting a combined role for these proteins in ribosome hibernation in V. cholerae. Vrp and VC2530 are important for V. cholerae starvation survival under nutrient deficient conditions. While VC2530 is down-regulated in cells lacking vrrA, mutation of vrp results in VC2530 activation. This is the first report indicating a regulatory role for an sRNA, modulating stationary factors involved in bacterial ribosome hibernation.
Project description:The RNA chaperone Hfq is a global post-transcriptional regulator in bacteria. Here, we used RNAseq to analyze RNA populations from the legume symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti that were co-immunoprecipitated (CoIP-RNA) with a FLAG-tagged Hfq in five growth/stress conditions. Hfq-bound transcripts (1315) were largely identified in stressed bacteria and derived from small RNAs (sRNAs), both trans-encoded (6.4%) and antisense (asRNAs; 6.3%), and mRNAs (86%). Pull-down with Hfq recovered a small proportion of annotated S. meliloti sRNAs (14% of trans-sRNAs and 2% of asRNAs) suggesting a discrete impact of this protein in sRNA pathways. Nonetheless, Hfq selectively stabilized CoIP-enriched sRNAs, anticipating that these interactions are functionally significant. Transcription of 26 Hfq-bound sRNAs was predicted to occur from promoters recognized by the major stress σ factors σ(E2) or σ(H1/2). Recovery rates of sRNAs in each of the CoIP-RNA libraries suggest a large impact of Hfq-assisted riboregulation in S. meliloti osmoadaptation. Hfq directly targeted 18% of the predicted S. meliloti mRNAs, which encode functionally diverse proteins involved in transport and metabolism, σ(E2)-dependent stress responses, quorum sensing, flagella biosynthesis, ribosome, and membrane assembly or symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Canonical targeting of the 5' regions of two of the ABC transporter mRNAs by the homologous Hfq-binding AbcR1 and AbcR2 sRNAs leading to inhibition of protein synthesis was confirmed in vivo. We therefore provide a comprehensive resource for the systems-level deciphering of hitherto unexplored S. meliloti stress and symbiotic post-transcriptional regulons and the identification of Hfq-dependent sRNA-mRNA regulatory pairs.
Project description:In bacteria, Hfq is a core RNA chaperone that catalyzes the interaction of mRNAs with regulatory small RNAs (sRNAs). To determine in vivo RNA sequence requirements for Hfq interactions, and to study riboregulation in a bacterial pathogen, Hfq was UV crosslinked to RNAs in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC). Hfq bound repeated trinucleotide motifs of A-R-N (A-A/G-any nucleotide) often associated with the Shine-Dalgarno translation initiation sequence in mRNAs. These motifs overlapped or were adjacent to the mRNA sequences bound by sRNAs. In consequence, sRNA-mRNA duplex formation will displace Hfq, promoting recycling. Fifty-five sRNAs were identified within bacteriophage-derived regions of the EHEC genome, including some of the most abundant Hfq-interacting sRNAs. One of these (AgvB) antagonized the function of the core genome regulatory sRNA, GcvB, by mimicking its mRNA substrate sequence. This bacteriophage-encoded "anti-sRNA" provided EHEC with a growth advantage specifically in bovine rectal mucus recovered from its primary colonization site in cattle.