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Annu Rev Microbiol. 2016 Sep 8;70:299-316. doi: 10.1146/annurev-micro-102215-095708. Epub 2016 Jul 6.

Staphylococcus aureus RNAIII and Its Regulon Link Quorum Sensing, Stress Responses, Metabolic Adaptation, and Regulation of Virulence Gene Expression.

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Architecture et Réactivité de l'ARN, Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, IBMC, 67084 Strasbourg, France; email:
College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China.
Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Université de Lyon, INSERM U1111, CNRS UMR 5308, CIRI, 69008 Lyon, France.


Staphylococcus aureus RNAIII is one of the main intracellular effectors of the quorum-sensing system. It is a multifunctional RNA that encodes a small peptide, and its noncoding parts act as antisense RNAs to regulate the translation and/or the stability of mRNAs encoding transcriptional regulators, major virulence factors, and cell wall metabolism enzymes. In this review, we explain how regulatory proteins and RNAIII are embedded in complex regulatory circuits to express virulence factors in a dynamic and timely manner in response to stress and environmental and metabolic changes.


Staphylococcus aureus; posttranscriptional regulation; quorum sensing; regulatory RNAs

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