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PLoS Genet. 2015 Oct 16;11(10):e1005577. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005577. eCollection 2015 Oct.

Decay-Initiating Endoribonucleolytic Cleavage by RNase Y Is Kept under Tight Control via Sequence Preference and Sub-cellular Localisation.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland.


Bacteria depend on efficient RNA turnover, both during homeostasis and when rapidly altering gene expression in response to changes. Nevertheless, remarkably few details are known about the rate-limiting steps in targeting and decay of RNA. The membrane-anchored endoribonuclease RNase Y is a virulence factor in Gram-positive pathogens. We have obtained a global picture of Staphylococcus aureus RNase Y sequence specificity using RNA-seq and the novel transcriptome-wide EMOTE method. Ninety-nine endoribonucleolytic sites produced in vivo were precisely mapped, notably inside six out of seven genes whose half-lives increase the most in an RNase Y deletion mutant, and additionally in three separate transcripts encoding degradation ribonucleases, including RNase Y itself, suggesting a regulatory network. We show that RNase Y is required to initiate the major degradation pathway of about a hundred transcripts that are inaccessible to other ribonucleases, but is prevented from promiscuous activity by membrane confinement and sequence preference for guanosines.

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