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RNA Biol. 2009 Nov-Dec;6(5):584-94.

The influence of Hfq and ribonucleases on the stability of the small non-coding RNA OxyS and its target rpoS in E. coli is growth phase dependent.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie und Molekularbiologie, Universität Giessen, Giessen, Germany.


OxyS is one of at least three small non-coding RNAs, which affect rpoS expression. It is induced under oxidative stress and reduces the levels of the stationary phase sigma factor RpoS. We analyzed the turn-over of OxyS and rpoS mRNA in early exponential and in stationary growth phase in different E. coli strains to learn more about the mechanisms of processing and about a possible impact of processing on growth-dependent regulation. We could not attribute a major role of RNase E, RNase III, PNPase or RNase II on OxyS turn-over in exponential growth phase. Only the simultaneous lack of RNase E, PNPase and RNase II activity resulted in some stabilization of OxyS in exponential growth phase, implying the action of multiple ribonucleases on OxyS turn-over. A major role of RNase E on OxyS stability was observed in stationary phase and was dependent on the presence of the RNA binding protein Hfq and of DsrA, one of the other small RNAs binding to rpoS mRNA. Our data also confirm a role of RNase III in rpoS turn-over, however, only in exponential growth phase.We conclude that OxyS and rpoS mRNA processing is influenced by different RNases and additional factors like Hfq and DsrA and that the impact of these factors is strongly dependent on growth phase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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