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Front Microbiol. 2016 Sep 21;7:1492. eCollection 2016.

Localization of Components of the RNA-Degrading Machine in Bacillus subtilis.

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Department of General Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology and Genetics, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen Göttingen, Germany.


In bacteria, the control of mRNA stability is crucial to allow rapid adaptation to changing conditions. In most bacteria, RNA degradation is catalyzed by the RNA degradosome, a protein complex composed of endo- and exoribonucleases, RNA helicases, and accessory proteins. In the Gram-positive model organism Bacillus subtilis, the existence of a RNA degradosome assembled around the membrane-bound endoribonuclease RNase Y has been proposed. Here, we have studied the intracellular localization of the protein that have been implicated in the potential B. subtilis RNA degradosome, i.e., polynucleotide phosphorylase, the exoribonucleases J1 and J2, the DEAD-box RNA helicase CshA, and the glycolytic enzymes enolase and phosphofructokinase. Our data suggests that the bulk of these enzymes is located in the cytoplasm. The RNases J1 and J2 as well as the RNA helicase CshA were mainly localized in the peripheral regions of the cell where also the bulk of messenger RNA is localized. We were able to demonstrate active exclusion of these proteins from the transcribing nucleoid. Taken together, our findings suggest that the interactions of the enzymes involved in RNA degradation in B. subtilis are rather transient.


RNA degradation; RNA degradosome; RNase Y; microbial cell biology; protein localization

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