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Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA. 2011 May-Jun;2(3):387-94. doi: 10.1002/wrna.66. Epub 2010 Dec 16.

Bacillus subtilis mRNA decay: new parts in the toolkit.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.


Representatives of two new ribonuclease families have recently been discovered in the gram-positive model organism, Bacillus subtilis. The RNase J family founding members, RNase J1 and RNase J2, are highly homologous but show differential activities. Although both are broad-specificity endonucleases, only the essential RNase J1 is a 5' → 3' exonuclease-a type of ribonuclease activity that was previously thought not to exist in bacteria. Current data suggest that RNase J1 is highly involved in the turnover of mRNA decay intermediates and may also be involved in the initiation of mRNA decay. A second family of ribonucleases is represented by RNase Y, an endonuclease that exerts a large effect on global mRNA half-life. The presence of these ribonucleases in B. subtilis predicts significant differences from the well-established model of mRNA decay in Escherichia coli.

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