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PLoS Pathog. 2010 Mar 12;6(3):e1000809. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000809.

Staphylococcus aureus RNAIII binds to two distant regions of coa mRNA to arrest translation and promote mRNA degradation.

Author information

1
Architecture et Réactivité de l'ARN, Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, IBMC, Strasbourg, France.

Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus RNAIII is the intracellular effector of the quorum sensing system that temporally controls a large number of virulence factors including exoproteins and cell-wall-associated proteins. Staphylocoagulase is one major virulence factor, which promotes clotting of human plasma. Like the major cell surface protein A, the expression of staphylocoagulase is strongly repressed by the quorum sensing system at the post-exponential growth phase. Here we used a combination of approaches in vivo and in vitro to analyze the mechanism used by RNAIII to regulate the expression of staphylocoagulase. Our data show that RNAIII represses the synthesis of the protein through a direct binding with the mRNA. Structure mapping shows that two distant regions of RNAIII interact with coa mRNA and that the mRNA harbors a conserved signature as found in other RNAIII-target mRNAs. The resulting complex is composed of an imperfect duplex masking the Shine-Dalgarno sequence of coa mRNA and of a loop-loop interaction occurring downstream in the coding region. The imperfect duplex is sufficient to prevent the formation of the ribosomal initiation complex and to repress the expression of a reporter gene in vivo. In addition, the double-strand-specific endoribonuclease III cleaves the two regions of the mRNA bound to RNAIII that may contribute to the degradation of the repressed mRNA. This study validates another direct target of RNAIII that plays a role in virulence. It also illustrates the diversity of RNAIII-mRNA topologies and how these multiple RNAIII-mRNA interactions would mediate virulence regulation.

PMID:
20300607
PMCID:
PMC2837412
DOI:
10.1371/journal.ppat.1000809
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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