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Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2014 Jul 15;4:91. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2014.00091. eCollection 2014.

Small RNA functions in carbon metabolism and virulence of enteric pathogens.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University Princeton, NJ, USA.
RNA Biology Group, Institute for Molecular Infection Biology, University of Würzburg Würzburg, Germany.


Enteric pathogens often cycle between virulent and saprophytic lifestyles. To endure these frequent changes in nutrient availability and composition bacteria possess an arsenal of regulatory and metabolic genes allowing rapid adaptation and high flexibility. While numerous proteins have been characterized with regard to metabolic control in pathogenic bacteria, small non-coding RNAs have emerged as additional regulators of metabolism. Recent advances in sequencing technology have vastly increased the number of candidate regulatory RNAs and several of them have been found to act at the interface of bacterial metabolism and virulence factor expression. Importantly, studying these riboregulators has not only provided insight into their metabolic control functions but also revealed new mechanisms of post-transcriptional gene control. This review will focus on the recent advances in this area of host-microbe interaction and discuss how regulatory small RNAs may help coordinate metabolism and virulence of enteric pathogens.


CsrA; Hfq; carbon metabolism; sRNA; virulence

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