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Trends Genet. 2005 Jul;21(7):399-404.

Micros for microbes: non-coding regulatory RNAs in bacteria.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Small non-coding RNAs with important regulatory roles are not confined to eukaryotes. Recent studies have led to the identification of numerous small regulatory RNAs in Escherichia coli and in other bacteria. As in eukaryotic cells, a major class of these small RNAs acts by base-pairing with target mRNAs, resulting in changes in the translation and stability of the mRNA. Roles for these non-coding pairing RNAs in bacteria have been demonstrated in several cases. Because these non-coding RNAs act post-transcriptionally, they impose a regulatory step that is independent of and epistatic to any transcriptional signals for their target mRNAs.

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