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RNA Biol. 2014;11(5):641-54. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

Revisiting the coding potential of the E. coli genome through Hfq co-immunoprecipitation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology; Max F Perutz Laboratories; University of Vienna; Vienna, Austria.
Center for Integrative Bioinformatics Vienna; Max F Perutz Laboratories; Medical University of Vienna; University of Vienna; Vienna, Austria.


Hfq is a global regulator of gene expression in bacteria undergoing adaptation to changing environmental conditions. Its major function is to promote RNA-RNA interactions between regulatory small RNAs (sRNAs) and their target mRNAs. Previously, we demonstrated that Hfq binds many antisense RNAs (asRNAs) in vitro and hypothesized that Hfq may play a role in regulating gene expression via asRNAs. To investigate the E. coli Hfq-binding transcriptome in more detail, we co-immunoprecipitated and deep-sequenced RNAs bound to Hfq in vivo. We detected many new Hfq-binding sRNAs and observed that almost 300 mRNAs bind to Hfq. Among these, several are known to be sRNA targets. We identified 25 novel RNAs, which are transcribed from within protein coding regions and named them intragenic RNAs (intraRNAs). Furthermore, 67 asRNAs were co-immunoprecipitated with Hfq, demonstrating that Hfq binds antisense transcripts in vivo. Northern blot analyses confirmed the deep-sequencing results and demonstrated that many of the novel Hfq-binding RNAs identified are regulated by Hfq.


Hfq; Hfq aptamers; Hfq co-immunoprecipitation; asRNAs; igRNAs; intraRNAs; sRNA

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