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Genes Dev. 2005 Sep 15;19(18):2176-86.

RNase E-based ribonucleoprotein complexes: mechanical basis of mRNA destabilization mediated by bacterial noncoding RNAs.

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  • 1Division of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Chikusa, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan.

Erratum in

  • Genes Dev. 2006 Dec 15;20(24):3487.


Hfq-binding antisense small RNAs of Escherichia coli, SgrS and RyhB, mediate the destabilization of target mRNAs in an RNase E-dependent manner. SgrS, whose expression is induced in response to phosphosugar stress, act on the ptsG mRNA encoding a major glucose transporter, while RyhB, whose expression is induced in response to Fe depletion, acts on several mRNAs encoding Fe-binding proteins. In this report, we addressed the question of how SgrS and RyhB RNAs cooperate with RNase E to destabilize the target mRNAs. We demonstrate that Hfq along with SgrS and RyhB copurified with RNase E but not with truncated RNase E. In addition, we show that RNase E but not other degradosome components copurified with Hfq. Taken together, we conclude that RNase E forms variable ribonucleoprotein complexes with Hfq/small RNAs through its C-terminal scaffold region. These complexes, distinct from the RNA degradosome, may act as specialized RNA decay machines that initiate the degradation of mRNAs targeted by each small RNA. The present finding has uncovered the mechanical basis of mRNA destabilization mediated by bacterial small RNAs. The formation of ribonucleoprotein complexes containing RNases could be a general way by which small RNAs destabilize target mRNAs in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

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