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Mol Microbiol. 2003 Apr;48(2):349-60.

A Streptomyces coelicolor functional orthologue of Escherichia coli RNase E shows shuffling of catalytic and PNPase-binding domains.

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Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Room M322, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA 94305-5120, USA.


Previous work has detected an RNase E-like endoribonucleolytic activity in cell extracts obtained from Streptomyces. Here, we identify a Streptomyces coelicolor gene, rns, encoding a 140 kDa protein (RNase ES) that shows endoribonucleolytic cleavage specificity characteristic of RNase E, confers viability on and allows propagation of Escherichia coli cells lacking RNase E and accomplishes RNase E-like regulation of plasmid copy number in E. coli. However, notwithstanding its complementation of rne-deleted E. coli, RNase ES did not accurately process 9S rRNA from E. coli. Additionally, whereas RNase E is normally required for E. coli survival, rns is not an essential gene in S. coelicolor. Deletion analysis mapped the catalytic domain of RNase ES near its centre and showed that regions located near the RNase ES termini interact with an S. coelicolor homologue of polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase) - a major component of E. coli RNase E-based degradosomes. The interacting arginine- and proline-rich segments resemble the C-terminally located degradosome scaffold region of E. coli RNase E. Our results indicate that RNase ES is a structurally shuffled RNase E homologue showing evolutionary conservation of functional RNase E-like enzymatic activity, and suggest the existence of degradosome-like complexes in Gram-positive bacteria.

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