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RNA Biol. 2014;11(7):855-64. doi: 10.4161/rna.29440. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

RNase J is required for processing of a small number of RNAs in Rhodobacter sphaeroides.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie und Molekularbiologie, University of Giessen, Germany.
Institute for Molecular Infection Biology, University of Würzburg, 97080 Würzburg, Germany; Research Center for Infectious Diseases, University of Würzburg, 97080 Würzburg, Germany.


All bacteria contain multiple exoribonucleases to ensure a fast breakdown of different RNA molecules, either for maturation or for complete degradation to the level of mononucleotides. This efficient RNA degradation plays pivotal roles in the post-transcriptional gene regulation, in RNA processing and maturation as well as in RNA quality control mechanisms and global adaption to stress conditions. Besides different 3'-to-5' exoribonucleases mostly with overlapping functions in vivo many bacteria additionally possess the 5'-to-3' exoribonuclease, RNase J, to date the only known bacterial ribonuclease with this activity. An RNA-seq approach was applied to identify specific targets of RNase J in the α-proteobacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Only few transcripts were strongly affected by the lack of RNase J implying that its function is mostly required for specific processing/degradation steps in this bacterium. The accumulation of diverse RNA fragments in the RNase J deletion mutant points to RNA features that apparently cannot be targeted by the conventional 3'-exoribonucleases in Gram-negative bacteria.


RNA decay; RNase J; ribosome degradation

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