Small RNA-mediated regulation in bacteria: A growing palette of diverse mechanisms.

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Small RNA-mediated regulation in bacteria: A growing palette of diverse mechanisms.

Gene. 2018 May 20;656:60-72

Authors: Dutta T, Srivastava S

Small RNAs (sRNAs) in bacteria have evolved with diverse mechanisms to balance their target gene expression in response to changes in the environment. Accumulating studies on bacterial regulatory processes firmly established that sRNAs modulate their target gene expression generally at the posttranscriptional level. Identification of large number of sRNAs by advanced technologies, like deep sequencing, tilling microarray, indicates the existence of a plethora of distinctive sRNA-mediated regulatory mechanisms in bacteria. Types of the novel mechanisms are increasing with the discovery of new sRNAs. Complementary base pairing between sRNAs and target RNAs assisted by RNA chaperones like Hfq and ProQ, in many occasions, to regulate the cognate gene expression is prevalent in sRNA mechanisms. sRNAs, in most studied cases, can directly base pair with target mRNA to remodel its expression. Base pairing can happen either in the untranslated regions or in the coding regions of mRNA to activate/repress its translation. sRNAs also act as target mimic to titrate away different regulatory RNAs from its target. Other mechanism includes the sequestration of regulatory proteins, especially transcription factors, by sRNAs. Numerous sRNAs, following analogous mechanism, are widespread in bacteria, and thus, has drawn immense attention for the development of RNA-based technologies. Nevertheless, typical sRNA mechanisms are also discovered to be confined in some bacteria. Analysis of the sRNA mechanisms unravels their existence in both the single step processes and the complex regulatory networks with a global effect on cell physiology. This review deals with the diverse array of mechanisms, which sRNAs follow to maintain bacterial lifestyle.

PMID: 29501814 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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