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EMBO J. 1998 Oct 15;17(20):6061-8.

The OxyS regulatory RNA represses rpoS translation and binds the Hfq (HF-I) protein.

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Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The OxyS regulatory RNA integrates the adaptive response to hydrogen peroxide with other cellular stress responses and protects against DNA damage. Among the OxyS targets is the rpoS-encoded sigma(s) subunit of RNA polymerase. Sigma(s) is a central regulator of genes induced by osmotic stress, starvation and entry into stationary phase. We examined the mechanism whereby OxyS represses rpoS expression and found that the OxyS RNA inhibits translation of the rpoS message. This repression is dependent on the hfq-encoded RNA-binding protein (also denoted host factor I, HF-I). Co-immunoprecipitation and gel mobility shift experiments revealed that the OxyS RNA binds Hfq, suggesting that OxyS represses rpoS translation by altering Hfq activity.

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