Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nucleic Acids Res. 2001 May 1;29(9):1864-71.

Cleavage of poly(A) tails on the 3'-end of RNA by ribonuclease E of Escherichia coli.

Author information

  • 1Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.


RNase E initiates the decay of Escherichia coli RNAs by cutting them internally near their 5'-end and is a component of the RNA degradosome complex, which also contains the 3'-exonuclease PNPASE: Recently, RNase E has been shown to be able to remove poly(A) tails by what has been described as an exonucleolytic process that can be blocked by the presence of a phosphate group on the 3'-end of the RNA. We show here, however, that poly(A) tail removal by RNase E is in fact an endonucleolytic process that is regulated by the phosphorylation status at the 5'- but not the 3'-end of RNA. The rate of poly(A) tail removal by RNase E was found to be 30-fold greater when the 5'-terminus of RNA substrates was converted from a triphosphate to monophosphate group. This finding prompted us to re-analyse the contributions of the ribonucleolytic activities within the degradosome to 3' attack since previous studies had only used substrates that had a triphosphate group on their 5'-end. Our results indicate that RNase E associated with the degradosome may contribute to the removal of poly(A) tails from 5'-monophosphorylated RNAs, but this is only likely to be significant should their attack by PNPase be blocked.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk