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Microbiology. 2003 Aug;149(Pt 8):2173-82.

Overexpression of the polynucleotide phosphorylase gene (pnp) of Streptomyces antibioticus affects mRNA stability and poly(A) tail length but not ppGpp levels.

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Department of Biology, 1510 Clifton Rd, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


The pnp gene, encoding the enzyme polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase), was overexpressed in the actinomycin producer Streptomyces antibioticus. Integration of pIJ8600, bearing the thiostrepton-inducible tipA promoter, and its derivatives containing pnp into the S. antibioticus chromosome dramatically increased the growth rate of the resulting strains as compared with the parent strain. Thiostrepton induction of a strain containing pJSE340, bearing pnp with a 5'-flanking region containing an endogenous promoter, led to a 2.5-3 fold increase in PNPase activity levels, compared with controls. Induction of a strain containing pJSE343, with only the pnp ORF and some 3'-flanking sequence, led to lower levels of PNPase activity and a different pattern of pnp expression compared with pJSE340. Induction of pnp from pJSE340 resulted in a decrease in the chemical half-life of bulk mRNA and a decrease in poly(A) tail length as compared to RNAs from controls. Actinomycin production decreased in strains overexpressing pnp as compared with controls but it was not possible to attribute this decrease specifically to the increase in PNPase levels. Overexpression of pnp had no effect on ppGpp levels in the relevant strains. It was observed that the 3'-tails associated with RNAs from S. antibioticus are heteropolymeric. The authors argue that those tails are synthesized by PNPase rather than by a poly(A) polymerase similar to that found in Escherichia coli and that PNPase may be the sole RNA 3'-polynucleotide polymerase in streptomycetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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