Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/14233
A Small Non-Coding RNA Modulates Expression of Pilus-1 Type in Streptococcus pneumoniae
Acebo, Paloma ISCIII | Herranz, Cristina | Espenberger, Lucas Bernal | Gomez-Sanz, Alicia ISCIII | Terron-Orellana, Maria Carmen ISCIII | Luque, Daniel ISCIII | Amblar, Monica ISCIII
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and about 30% of the pneumococcal clinical isolates show type I pili-like structures. These long proteinaceous polymers extending from the bacterial surface are encoded by pilus islet 1 and play major roles in adhesion and host colonization. Pili expression is bistable and is controlled by the transcriptional activator RlrA. In this work, we demonstrate that the previously identified small noncoding RNA srn135 also participates in pilus regulation. Our findings show that srn135 is generated upon processing of the 5'-UTR region of rrgA messenger and its deletion prevents the synthesis of RrgA, the main pili adhesin. Moreover, overexpression of srn135 increases the expression of all pili genes and rises the percentage of piliated bacteria within a clonal population. This regulation is mediated by the stabilization of rlrA mRNA since higher levels of srn135 increase its half-life to 165%. Our findings suggest that srn135 has a dual role in pilus expression acting both in cis- (on the RrgA levels) and in trans- (modulating the levels of RlrA) and contributes to the delicate balance between pili expressing and non-expressing bacteria.
PI-1 | Pilus-1 type | S. pneumoniae | Regulatory RNA | sRNA
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