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J Bacteriol. 1996 Jul;178(13):3917-25.

RNase E polypeptides lacking a carboxyl-terminal half suppress a mukB mutation in Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics, Kumamoto University School of Medicine, Kumamoto, Japan.


We have isolated suppressor mutants that suppress temperature-sensitive colony formation and anucleate cell production of a mukB mutation. A linkage group (smbB) of the suppressor mutations is located in the rne/ams/hmp gene encoding the processing endoribonuclease RNase E. All of the rne (smbB) mutants code for truncated RNase E polypeptides lacking a carboxyl-terminal half. The amount of MukB protein was higher in these rne mutants than that in the rne+ strain. These rne mutants grew nearly normally in the mukB+ genetic background. The copy number of plasmid pBR322 in these rne mutants was lower than that in the rne+ isogenic strain. The results suggest that these rne mutations increase the half-lives of mukB mRNA and RNAI of pBR322, the antisense RNA regulating ColE1-type plasmid replication. We have demonstrated that the wild-type RNase E protein bound to polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase) but a truncated RNase E polypeptide lacking the C-terminal half did not. We conclude that the C-terminal half of RNase E is not essential for viability but plays an important role for binding with PNPase. RNase E and PNPase of the multiprotein complex presumably cooperate for effective processing and turnover of specific substrates, such as mRNAs and other RNAs in vivo.

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