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RNA Biol. 2010 Nov-Dec;7(6):788-95. Epub 2010 Nov 1.

RNA remodeling and gene regulation by cold shock proteins.

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Department of Biochemistry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, UMDNJ, CABM, Piscataway, NJ, USA.


One of the many important consequences that temperature down-shift has on cells is stabilization of secondary structures of RNAs. This stabilization has wide-spread effects, such as inhibition of expression of several genes due to termination of their transcription and inefficient RNA degradation that adversely affect cell growth at low temperature. Several cold shock proteins are produced to counteract these effects and thus allow cold acclimatization of the cell. The main RNA modulating cold shock proteins of E. coli can be broadly divided into two categories, (1) the CspA family proteins, which mainly affect the transcription and possibly translation at low temperature through their RNA chaperoning function and (2) RNA helicases and exoribonucleases that stimulate RNA degradation at low temperature through their RNA unwinding activity.

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