Bacterial small RNAs (sRNAs) are important post-transcriptional regulators in stress responses and virulence. They can be derived from an expanding list of genomic contexts, such as processing from parental transcripts by RNase E. The role of RNase III in sRNA biogenesis is less well understood despite its well-known roles in rRNA processing, RNA decay, and cleavage of sRNA-mRNA duplexes. Here, we show that RNase III processes a pair of cis-encoded sRNAs (CJnc190 and CJnc180) of the foodborne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni. While CJnc180 processing by RNase III requires CJnc190, In contrast, RNase III processes CJnc190 independent of CJnc180 via cleavage of an intramolecular duplex. We also show that CJnc190 directly represses translation of the colonization factor PtmG by targeting a G-rich ribosome binding site, and uncover that CJnc180 is a cis-acting antagonist of CJnc190, indirectly affecting ptmG regulation. Our study highlights a role for RNase III in sRNA biogenesis and adds cis-encoded RNAs to the expanding diversity of transcripts that antagonize bacterial sRNAs.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript or are provided as supporting data files (e.g., gel images).
- Cynthia Mira Sharma
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Lydia Contreras, The University of Texas at Austin, United States
© 2021, Svensson & Sharma
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Imaging experiments reveal the complex and dynamic nature of the transcriptional hubs associated with Notch signaling.
African trypanosomes evade host immune clearance by antigenic variation, causing persistent infections in humans and animals. These parasites express a homogeneous surface coat of variant surface glycoproteins (VSGs). They transcribe one out of hundreds of VSG genes at a time from telomeric expression sites (ESs) and periodically change the VSG expressed by transcriptional switching or recombination. The mechanisms underlying the control of VSG switching and its developmental silencing remain elusive. We report that telomeric ES activation and silencing entail an on/off genetic switch controlled by a nuclear phosphoinositide signaling system. This system includes a nuclear phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphatase (PIP5Pase), its substrate PI(3,4,5)P3, and the repressor-activator protein 1 (RAP1). RAP1 binds to ES sequences flanking VSG genes via its DNA binding domains and represses VSG transcription. In contrast, PI(3,4,5)P3 binds to the N-terminus of RAP1 and controls its DNA binding activity. Transient inactivation of PIP5Pase results in the accumulation of nuclear PI(3,4,5)P3, which binds RAP1 and displaces it from ESs, activating transcription of silent ESs and VSG switching. The system is also required for the developmental silencing of VSG genes. The data provides a mechanism controlling reversible telomere silencing essential for the periodic switching in VSG expression and its developmental regulation.