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Mol Microbiol. 2006 Dec;62(6):1674-88.

SigmaE-dependent small RNAs of Salmonella respond to membrane stress by accelerating global omp mRNA decay.

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Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany.


The bacterial envelope stress response (ESR) is triggered by the accumulation of misfolded outer membrane proteins (OMPs) upon envelope damage or excessive OMP synthesis, and is mediated by the alternative sigma factor, sigmaE. Activation of the GE pathway causes a rapid downregulation of major omp mRNAs, which prevents further build-up of unassembled OMPs and liberates the translocation and folding apparatus under conditions that require envelope remodelling. The factors that facilitate the rapid removal of the unusually stable omp mRNAs in the ESR were previously unknown. We report that in Salmonella the ESR relies upon two highly conserved, sigmaE-controlled small non-coding RNAs, RybB and MicA. By using a transcriptomic approach and kinetic analyses of target mRNA decay in vivo, RybB was identified as the factor that selectively accelerates the decay of multiple major omp mRNAs upon induction of the ESR, while MicA is proposed to facilitate rapid decay of the single ompA mRNA. In unstressed bacterial cells, the two oE-dependent small RNAs function within a surveillance loop to maintain envelope homeostasis and to achieve autoregulation of oE.

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