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J Bacteriol. 2013 Jun;195(11):2585-94. doi: 10.1128/JB.00097-13. Epub 2013 Mar 29.

Multiple roles of RNase Y in Streptococcus pyogenes mRNA processing and degradation.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.


Control over mRNA stability is an essential part of gene regulation that involves both endo- and exoribonucleases. RNase Y is a recently identified endoribonuclease in Gram-positive bacteria, and an RNase Y ortholog has been identified in Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus [GAS]). In this study, we used microarray and Northern blot analyses to determine the S. pyogenes mRNA half-life of the transcriptome and to understand the role of RNase Y in global mRNA degradation and processing. We demonstrated that S. pyogenes has an unusually high mRNA turnover rate, with median and mean half-lives of 0.88 min and 1.26 min, respectively. A mutation of the RNase Y-encoding gene (rny) led to a 2-fold increase in overall mRNA stability. RNase Y was also found to play a significant role in the mRNA processing of virulence-associated genes as well as in the rapid degradation of rnpB read-through transcripts. From these results, we conclude that RNase Y is a pleiotropic regulator required for mRNA stability, mRNA processing, and removal of read-through transcripts in S. pyogenes.

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