Image_1_A Haloarchaeal Small Regulatory RNA (sRNA) Is Essential for Rapid Adaptation to Phosphate Starvation Conditions.TIF (3.54 MB)
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Image_1_A Haloarchaeal Small Regulatory RNA (sRNA) Is Essential for Rapid Adaptation to Phosphate Starvation Conditions.TIF

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posted on 05.06.2019, 04:28 by Jana Kliemt, Katharina Jaschinski, Jörg Soppa

The haloarchaeon Haloferax volcanii contains nearly 2800 small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs). One intergenic sRNA, sRNA132, was chosen for a detailed characterization. A deletion mutant had a growth defect and thus underscored the importance of sRNA132. A microarray analysis identified the transcript of an operon for a phosphate-specific ABC transporter as a putative target of sRNA132. Both the sRNA132 and the operon transcript accumulated under low phosphate concentrations, indicating a positive regulatory role of sRNA132. A kinetic analysis revealed that sRNA132 is essential shortly after the onset of phosphate starvation, while other regulatory processes take over after several hours. Comparison of the transcriptomes of wild-type and the sRNA132 gene deletion mutant 30 min after the onset of phosphate starvation revealed that sRNA132 controls a regulon of about 40 genes. Remarkably, the regulon included a second operon for a phosphate-specific ABC transporter, which also depended on sRNA132 for rapid induction in the absence of phosphate. Competitive growth experiments of the wild-type and ABC transporter operon deletion mutants underscored the importance of both transporters for growth at low phosphate concentrations. Northern blot analyses of four additional members of the sRNA132 regulon verified that all four transcripts depended on sRNA132 for rapid regulation after the onset of phosphate starvation. Importantly, this is the first example for the transient importance of a sRNA for any archaeal and bacterial species. In addition, this study unraveled the first sRNA regulon for haloarchaea.

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