3 years ago

Characterizing The Structure-Function Relationship Of A Naturally-Occurring RNA Thermometer

J., S., Lucks, Meyer
A wide number of bacteria have been found to govern virulence and heat shock responses using temperature-sensing RNAs known as RNA thermometers. A prime example is the agsA thermometer known to regulate the production of the AgsA heat shock protein in Salmonella enterica using a fourU structural motif. Using the SHAPE-Seq RNA structure-probing method in vivo and in vitro, we found that the regulator functions by a subtle shift in equilibrium RNA structure populations that lead to a partial melting of the helix containing the ribosome binding site. We also demonstrate that ribosome binding to the agsA mRNA causes changes to the thermometer structure that appear to facilitate thermometer helix unwinding. These results demonstrate how subtle RNA structural changes can govern gene expression and illuminate the function of an important bacterial regulatory motif.

Publisher URL: http://biorxiv.org/cgi/content/short/142141v1

DOI: 10.1101/142141

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