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RNA Biol. 2012 Apr;9(4):379-91. doi: 10.4161/rna.19333. Epub 2012 Feb 16.

The Csr/Rsm system of Yersinia and related pathogens: a post-transcriptional strategy for managing virulence.

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Department of Molecular Infection Biology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany.


This review emphasizes the function and regulation of the Csr regulatory system in the human enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and compares its features with the homologous Csr/Rsm systems of related pathogens. The Csr/Rsm systems of eubacteria form a complex regulatory network in which redundant non-translated Csr/Rsm-RNAs bind the RNA-binding protein CsrA/RsmA, thereby preventing its interaction with mRNA targets. The Csr system is controlled by the BarA/UvrY-type of two-component sensor-regulator systems. Apart from that, common or pathogen-specific regulators control the abundance of the Csr components. The coordinate control of virulence factors and infection-linked physiological traits by the Csr/Rsm systems helps the pathogens to adapt individually to rapidly changing conditions to which they are exposed during the different stages of an infection. As Csr/Rsm function is relevant for full virulence, it represents a target suitable for antimicrobial drug development.

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