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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Jul 3;115(27):E6319-E6328. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1803191115. Epub 2018 Jun 18.

A second RNA-binding protein is essential for ethanol tolerance provided by the bacterial OLE ribonucleoprotein complex.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8103.
Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8103.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8103;
Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8103.


OLE (ornate, large, extremophilic) RNAs comprise a class of structured noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) found in many extremophilic bacteria species. OLE RNAs constitute one of the longest and most widespread bacterial ncRNA classes whose major biochemical function remains unknown. In the Gram-positive alkaliphile Bacillus halodurans, OLE RNA is abundant, and localizes to the cell membrane by association with the transmembrane OLE-associated protein called OapA (formerly OAP). These characteristics, along with the well-conserved sequence and structural features of OLE RNAs, suggest that the OLE ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex performs important biological functions. B. halodurans strains lacking OLE RNA (∆ole) or OapA (∆oapA) are less tolerant of cold (20 °C) and short-chain alcohols (e.g., ethanol). Here, we describe the effects of a mutant OapA (called PM1) that more strongly inhibits growth under cold or ethanol stress compared with strains lacking the oapA gene, even when wild-type OapA is present. This dominant-negative effect of PM1 is reversed by mutations that render OLE RNA nonfunctional. This finding demonstrates that the deleterious PM1 phenotype requires an intact RNP complex, and suggests that the complex has one or more additional undiscovered components. A genetic screen uncovered PM1 phenotype suppressor mutations in the ybzG gene, which codes for a putative RNA-binding protein of unknown biological function. We observe that YbzG protein (also called OapB) selectively binds OLE RNA in vitro, whereas a mutant version of the protein is not observed to bind OLE RNA. Thus, YbzG/OapB is an important component of the functional OLE RNP complex in B. halodurans.


Bacillus halodurans; OLE RNA; YbzG; alcohol toxicity; noncoding RNA

[Available on 2019-01-03]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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