Send to

Choose Destination
Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Feb;42(4):2736-49. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt1171. Epub 2013 Nov 27.

Mapping Hfq-RNA interaction surfaces using tryptophan fluorescence quenching.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710, USA and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Hfq is a posttranscriptional riboregulator and RNA chaperone that binds small RNAs and target mRNAs to effect their annealing and message-specific regulation in response to environmental stressors. Structures of Hfq-RNA complexes indicate that U-rich sequences prefer the proximal face and A-rich sequences the distal face; however, the Hfq-binding sites of most RNAs are unknown. Here, we present an Hfq-RNA mapping approach that uses single tryptophan-substituted Hfq proteins, all of which retain the wild-type Hfq structure, and tryptophan fluorescence quenching (TFQ) by proximal RNA binding. TFQ properly identified the respective distal and proximal binding of A15 and U6 RNA to Gram-negative Escherichia coli (Ec) Hfq and the distal face binding of (AA)3A, (AU)3A and (AC)3A to Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus (Sa) Hfq. The inability of (GU)3G to bind the distal face of Sa Hfq reveals the (R-L)n binding motif is a more restrictive (A-L)n binding motif. Remarkably Hfq from Gram-positive Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) binds (GU)3G on its proximal face. TFQ experiments also revealed the Ec Hfq (A-R-N)n distal face-binding motif should be redefined as an (A-A-N)n binding motif. TFQ data also demonstrated that the 5'-untranslated region of hfq mRNA binds both the proximal and distal faces of Ec Hfq and the unstructured C-terminus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center