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J Bacteriol. 2013 Nov;195(22):5166-73. doi: 10.1128/JB.00839-13. Epub 2013 Sep 13.

Control of RNA stability by NrrF, an iron-regulated small RNA in Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.

Abstract

Regulation of gene expression by small noncoding RNAs (sRNAs) plays a critical role in bacterial response to physiological stresses. NrrF, a trans-acting sRNA in Neisseria meningitidis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, has been shown in the meningococcus to control indirectly, in response to iron (Fe) availability, the transcription of genes encoding subunits of succinate dehydrogenase, a Fe-requiring enzyme. Given that in other organisms, sRNAs target multiple mRNAs to control gene expression, we used a global approach to examine the role of NrrF in controlling gonococcal transcription. Three strains, including N. gonorrhoeae FA1090, an nrrF deletion mutant, and a complemented derivative, were examined using a custom CombiMatrix microarray to assess the role of this sRNA in controlling gene expression in response to Fe availability. In the absence of NrrF, the mRNA half-lives for 12 genes under Fe-depleted growth conditions were longer than those in FA1090. The 12 genes controlled by NrrF encoded proteins with biological functions including energy metabolism, oxidative stress, antibiotic resistance, and amino acid synthesis, as well as hypothetical proteins and a regulatory protein whose functions are not fully understood.

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