Project description:mRNA levels result from an equilibrium between transcription and degradation. Ribonucleases (RNases) facilitate the turnover of mRNA, which is an important way of controlling gene expression, allowing the cells to adjust transcript levels to a changing environment. In contrast to the heterotrophic model bacteria Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis, RNA decay has not been studied in detail in cyanobacteria. Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 encodes orthologs of both E. coli and B. subtilis RNases, including RNase E and RNase J, respectively. We show that in vitro Sy RNases E and J have an endonucleolytic cleavage specificity that is very similar between them and also compared to orthologous enzymes from E. coli, B. subtilis, and Chlamydomonas. Moreover, Sy RNase J displays a robust 5'-exoribonuclease activity similar to B. subtilis RNase J1, but unlike the evolutionarily related RNase J in chloroplasts. Both nucleases are essential and gene deletions could not be fully segregated in Synechocystis. We generated partially disrupted strains of Sy RNase E and J that were stable enough to allow for their growth and characterization. A transcriptome analysis of these strains partially depleted for RNases E and J, respectively, allowed to observe effects on specific transcripts. RNase E altered the expression of a larger number of chromosomal genes and antisense RNAs compared to RNase J, which rather affects endogenous plasmid encoded transcripts. Our results provide the first description of the main transcriptomic changes induced by the partial depletion of two essential ribonucleases in cyanobacteria.
Project description:Stable RNA maturation is a key process in the generation of functional RNAs, and failure to correctly process these RNAs can lead to their elimination through quality control mechanisms. Studies of the maturation pathways of ribosomal RNA and transfer RNA in Bacillus subtilis showed they were radically different from Escherichia coli and led to the identification of new B. subtilis-specific enzymes. We noticed that, despite their important roles in translation, a number of B. subtilis small stable RNAs still did not have characterised maturation pathways, notably the tmRNA, involved in ribosome rescue, and the RNase P RNA, involved in tRNA maturation. Here, we show that tmRNA is matured by RNase P and RNase Z at its 5' and 3' extremities, respectively, whereas the RNase P RNA is matured on its 3' side by RNase Y. Recent evidence that several RNases are not essential in B. subtilis prompted us to revisit maturation of the scRNA, a component of the signal recognition particle involved in co-translational insertion of specific proteins into the membrane. We show that RNase Y is also involved in 3' processing of scRNA. Lastly, we identified some of the enzymes involved in the turnover of these three stable RNAs.
Project description:Bacterial RNase P is composed of an RNA subunit and a single protein subunit (encoded by the rnpB and rnpA genes, respectively). We constructed Bacillus subtilis mutant strains that conditionally express the RNase P protein under control of the xylose promoter (P(xyl)). In one strain (d7), rnpA expression was efficiently repressed in the absence of the inducer xylose, leading to cell growth arrest. Growth could be restored by a second functional rnpA allele. This is the first RNase P protein knockdown strain, providing the first direct proof that the rnpA gene is essential in B. subtilis and, by inference, in other bacteria. We further show (i) that, in the wild-type context, rnpA expression is attenuated by transcriptional polarity and (ii) that translation of rnpA mRNA in B. subtilis can be initiated at two alternative start codons. His-tagged RNase P protein variants are functional in vivo and permit purification of in vivo-assembled holoenzymes by affinity chromatography. Simultaneous expression of plasmid-encoded RNase P RNA and His-tagged protein increased RNase P holoenzyme yields. Massive overproduction of RNase P protein in strain d7 is compatible with cell viability.
Project description:In Escherichia coli, RNA degradation often begins with conversion of the 5'-terminal triphosphate to a monophosphate, creating a better substrate for internal cleavage by RNase E. Remarkably, no homolog of this key endonuclease is present in many bacterial species, such as Bacillus subtilis and various pathogens. Here, we report that the degradation of primary transcripts in B. subtilis can nevertheless be triggered by an analogous process to generate a short-lived, monophosphorylated intermediate. Like its E. coli counterpart, the B. subtilis RNA pyrophosphohydrolase that catalyzes this event is a Nudix protein that prefers unpaired 5' ends. However, in B. subtilis, this modification exposes transcripts to rapid 5' exonucleolytic degradation by RNase J, which is absent in E. coli but present in most bacteria lacking RNase E. This pathway, which closely resembles the mechanism by which deadenylated mRNA is degraded in eukaryotic cells, explains the stabilizing influence of 5'-terminal stem-loops in such bacteria.
Project description:Bacterial ribonuclease P (RNase P) catalyzes the cleavage of 5' leader sequences from precursor tRNAs (pre-tRNAs). Previously, all known substrate nucleotide specificities in this system are derived from RNA-RNA interactions with the RNase P RNA subunit. Here, we demonstrate that pre-tRNA binding affinities for Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli RNase P are enhanced by sequence-specific contacts between the fourth pre-tRNA nucleotide on the 5' side of the cleavage site (N(-4)) and the RNase P protein (P protein) subunit. B. subtilis RNase P has a higher affinity for pre-tRNA with adenosine at N(-4), and this binding preference is amplified at physiological divalent ion concentrations. Measurements of pre-tRNA-containing adenosine analogs at N(-4) indicate that specificity arises from a combination of hydrogen bonding to the N6 exocyclic amine of adenosine and steric exclusion of the N2 amine of guanosine. Mutagenesis of B. subtilis P protein indicates that F20 and Y34 contribute to selectivity at N(-4). The hydroxyl group of Y34 enhances selectivity, likely by forming a hydrogen bond with the N(-4) nucleotide. The sequence preference of E. coli RNase P is diminished, showing a weak preference for adenosine and cytosine at N(-4), consistent with the substitution of Leu for Y34 in the E. coli P protein. This is the first identification of a sequence-specific contact between P protein and pre-tRNA that contributes to molecular recognition of RNase P. Additionally, sequence analyses reveal that a greater-than-expected fraction of pre-tRNAs from both E. coli and B. subtilis contains a nucleotide at N(-4) that enhances RNase P affinity. This observation suggests that specificity at N(-4) contributes to substrate recognition in vivo. Furthermore, bioinformatic analyses suggest that sequence-specific contacts between the protein subunit and the leader sequences of pre-tRNAs may be common in bacterial RNase P and may lead to species-specific substrate recognition.
Project description:RNase P from Escherichia coli cleaves the coenzyme B12 riboswitch from E. coli and a similar one from Bacillus subtilis. The cleavage sites do not occur in any recognizable structure, as judged from theoretical schemes that have been drawn for these 5' UTRs. However, it is possible to draw a scheme that is a good representation of the E. coli cleavage site for RNase P and for the cleavage site in B. subtilis. These data indicate that transient structures are important in RNase P cleavage and in riboswitch function. Coenzyme B12 has a small inhibitory effect on E. coli RNase P cleavage of the E. coli riboswitch. Both E. coli RNase P and a partially purified RNase P from Aspergillus nidulans mycelia succeeded in cleaving a putative arginine riboswitch from A. nidulans. The cleavage site may be a representative of another model substrate for eukaryotic RNase P. This 5' UTR controls splicing of the arginase mRNA in A. nidulans. Four other riboswitches in E. coli were not cleaved by RNase P under the conditions tested.
Project description:Escherichia coli RNase E (Eco-RNase E), encoded by rne (Eco-rne), is considered the global RNA decay initiator. Although Eco-RNase E is an essential gene product in E. coli, some bacterial species, such as Bacillus subtilis, do not possess Eco-RNase E sequence homologues. B. subtilis instead possesses RNase J1/J2 (Bsu-RNase J1/J2) and RNase Y (Bsu-RNase Y) to execute RNA decay. Here we found that E. coli lacking the Eco-rne gene (?rne E. coli) was viable conditional on M9 minimal media by introducing Bsu-RNase J1/J2 or Bsu-RNase Y. We also cloned an extremely short Eco-RNase E homologue (Wpi-RNase E) and a canonical sized Bsu-RNase J1/J2 homologue (Wpi-RNase J) from Wolbachia pipientis, an ?-proteobacterial endosymbiont of arthropods. We found that Wpi-RNase J restored the colony-forming ability (CFA) of ?rne E. coli, whereas Wpi-RNase E did not. Unexpectedly, Wpi-RNase E restored defective CFA due to lack of Eco-RNase G, a paralogue of Eco-RNase E. Our results indicate that bacterial species that lack Eco-RNase E homologues or bacterial species that possess Eco-RNase E homologues which lack Eco-RNase E-like activities have a modest Eco-RNase E-like function using RNase J and/or RNase Y. These results suggest that Eco-RNase E-like activities might distribute among a wide array of bacteria and that functions of RNases may have changed dynamically during evolutionary divergence of bacterial lineages.
Project description:SR1 is a dual-function sRNA from B. subtilis that acts as a base-pairing regulatory RNA and as a peptide-encoding mRNA. Both functions of SR1 are highly conserved. Previously, we uncovered that the SR1 encoded peptide SR1P binds the glycolytic enzyme GapA resulting in stabilization of gapA mRNA. Here, we demonstrate that GapA interacts with RNases Y and J1, and this interaction was RNA-independent. About 1% of GapA molecules purified from B. subtilis carry RNase J1 and about 2% RNase Y. In contrast to the GapA/RNase Y interaction, the GapA/RNaseJ1 interaction was stronger in the presence of SR1P. GapA/SR1P-J1/Y displayed in vitro RNase activity on known RNase J1 substrates. Moreover, the RNase J1 substrate SR5 has altered half-lives in a ?gapA strain and a ?sr1 strain, suggesting in vivo functions of the GapA/SR1P/J1 interaction. Our results demonstrate that the metabolic enzyme GapA moonlights in recruiting RNases while GapA bound SR1P promotes binding of RNase J1 and enhances its activity.
Project description:Most known proteins have at least one local Hsp70 chaperone binding site. Does this mean that all proteins interact with Hsp70 as they fold? This study makes an initial step to address the above question by examining the interaction of the E.coli Hsp70 chaperone (known as DnaK) and its co-chaperones DnaJ and GrpE with a slow-folding E.coli substrate, RNase H(D). Importantly, this protein is a nonobligatory client, and it is able to fold in vitro even in the absence of chaperones. We employ stopped-flow mixing, chromatography, and activity assays to analyze the kinetic perturbations induced by DnaK/DnaJ/GrpE (K/J/E) on the folding of RNase H(D). We find that K/J/E slows down RNase H(D)'s apparent folding, consistent with the presence of transient chaperone-substrate interactions. However, kinetic retardation is moderate for this slow-folding client and it is expected to be even smaller for faster-folding substrates. Given that the interaction of folding-competent substrates such as RNase H(D) with the K/J/E chaperones is relatively short-lived, it does not significantly interfere with the timely production of folded biologically active substrate. The above mode of action is important because it preserves K/J/E bioavailability, enabling this chaperone system to act primarily by assisting the folding of other misfolded and (or) aggregation-prone cellular proteins that are unable to fold independently. When refolding is carried out in the presence of K/J and absence of the nucleotide exchange factor GrpE, some of the substrate population becomes trapped as a chaperone-bound partially unfolded state.
Project description:RNA processing and degradation is initiated by endonucleolytic cleavage of the target RNAs. In many bacteria, this activity is performed by RNase E which is not present in Bacillus subtilis and other Gram-positive bacteria. Recently, the essential endoribonuclease RNase Y has been discovered in B. subtilis. This RNase is involved in the degradation of bulk mRNA suggesting a major role in mRNA metabolism. However, only a few targets of RNase Y have been identified so far. In order to assess the global impact of RNase Y, we compared the transcriptomes of strains expressing RNase Y or depleted for RNase Y. Our results indicate that processing by RNase Y results in accumulation of about 80 mRNAs. Some of these targets were substantially stabilized by RNase Y depletion, resulting in half-lives in the range of an hour. Moreover, about 40 mRNAs were less abundant when RNase Y was depleted among them the mRNAs of the operons required for biofilm formation. Interestingly, overexpression of RNase Y was sufficient to induce biofilm formation. The results emphasize the importance of RNase Y for B. subtilis and are in support of the idea that RNase Y is the functional equivalent of RNase E. To study the global function of RNase Y, a microarray analysis was performed with a B. subtilis strain allowing controlled depletion of RNase Y. Strain GP193 (Commichau et al., 2009, Mol. Cell. Proteomics 8: 1350-1360) expressing the rny gene under the control of a xylose-inducible promoter was cultivated in CSE minimal medium in the presence or absence of the inducer xylose. The transcriptomes of the two cultures (i.e. expressing RNase Y and depleted for RNase Y) were compared at a timepoint at which the reduced RNase Y amounts already affected the mRNA turnover whereas the growth rates of the two cultures were still almost identical.