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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2010 Dec;8(12):857-66. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2457.

RNAs: regulators of bacterial virulence.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), Umeå University, 90187 Umeå, Sweden.


RNA-based pathways that regulate protein expression are much more widespread than previously thought. Regulatory RNAs, including 5' and 3' untranslated regions next to the coding sequence, cis-acting antisense RNAs and trans-acting small non-coding RNAs, are effective regulatory molecules that can influence protein expression and function in response to external cues such as temperature, pH and levels of metabolites. This Review discusses the mechanisms by which these regulatory RNAs, together with accessory proteins such as RNases, control the fate of mRNAs and proteins and how this regulation influences virulence in pathogenic bacteria.

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