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Trends Microbiol. 2009 Sep;17(9):399-405. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2009.06.003. Epub 2009 Sep 3.

On the facultative requirement of the bacterial RNA chaperone, Hfq.

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Université de Rennes I, Inserm U835, UPRES EA2311, Biochimie Pharmaceutique, 35043 Rennes, France.


The pleiotropic post-transcriptional regulator Hfq is an RNA chaperone that facilitates pairing interactions between small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) and their mRNA targets in several bacteria. However, this classical pattern, derived from the Escherichia coli model, is not applicable to the whole bacterial kingdom. In this article we discuss the facultative requirement for Hfq for sRNA-mRNA duplex formation among bacteria and the specific features of the Hfq protein and RNA duplexes that might account for the dispensability or requirement of the chaperone. Apparent links between the need for Hfq, the GC content of bacterial genomes and the free energy of experimentally validated sRNA-mRNA pairing interactions are presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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