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PLoS Genet. 2015 Apr 29;11(4):e1005153. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005153. eCollection 2015 Apr.

A stress-induced small RNA modulates alpha-rhizobial cell cycle progression.

Author information

1
LOEWE Center for Synthetic Microbiology and Faculty of Biology, Philipps-University Marburg, Marburg, Germany.
2
Bioinformatics Group, Department of Computer Science, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.

Abstract

Mechanisms adjusting replication initiation and cell cycle progression in response to environmental conditions are crucial for microbial survival. Functional characterization of the trans-encoded small non-coding RNA (trans-sRNA) EcpR1 in the plant-symbiotic alpha-proteobacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti revealed a role of this class of riboregulators in modulation of cell cycle regulation. EcpR1 is broadly conserved in at least five families of the Rhizobiales and is predicted to form a stable structure with two defined stem-loop domains. In S. meliloti, this trans-sRNA is encoded downstream of the divK-pleD operon. ecpR1 belongs to the stringent response regulon, and its expression was induced by various stress factors and in stationary phase. Induced EcpR1 overproduction led to cell elongation and increased DNA content, while deletion of ecpR1 resulted in reduced competitiveness. Computationally predicted EcpR1 targets were enriched with cell cycle-related mRNAs. Post-transcriptional repression of the cell cycle key regulatory genes gcrA and dnaA mediated by mRNA base-pairing with the strongly conserved loop 1 of EcpR1 was experimentally confirmed by two-plasmid differential gene expression assays and compensatory changes in sRNA and mRNA. Evidence is presented for EcpR1 promoting RNase E-dependent degradation of the dnaA mRNA. We propose that EcpR1 contributes to modulation of cell cycle regulation under detrimental conditions.

PMID:
25923724
PMCID:
PMC4414408
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.1005153
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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