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Cell-wall synthesis and ribosome maturation are co-regulated by an RNA switch in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Schwenk, Stefan, Moores, Alexandra, Nobeli, Irene, McHugh, Timothy D., Arnvig, Kristine B. (2018) Cell-wall synthesis and ribosome maturation are co-regulated by an RNA switch in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Nucleic acids research, 46 (11). pp. 5837-5849. ISSN 0305-1048. E-ISSN 1362-4962. (doi:10.1093/nar/gky226) (KAR id:81098)


The success of Mycobacterium tuberculosis relies on the ability to switch between active growth and non-replicating persistence, associated with latent TB infection. Resuscitation promoting factors (Rpfs) are essential for the transition between these states. Rpf expression is tightly regulated as these enzymes are able to degrade the cell wall, and hence potentially lethal to the bacterium itself. We have identified a regulatory element in the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of rpfB. We demonstrate that this element is a transcriptionally regulated RNA switch/riboswitch candidate, which appears to be restricted to pathogenic mycobacteria, suggesting a role in virulence. We have used translation start site mapping to re-annotate the RpfB start codon and identified and validated a ribosome binding site that is likely to be targeted by an rpfB antisense RNA. Finally, we show that rpfB is co-transcribed with ksgA and ispE downstream. ksgA encodes a universally conserved methyltransferase involved in ribosome maturation and ispE encodes an essential kinase involved in cell wall synthesis. This arrangement implies co-regulation of resuscitation, cell wall synthesis

and ribosome maturation via the RNA switch.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/nar/gky226
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Biosciences
Depositing User: Alexandra Moores
Date Deposited: 01 May 2020 16:27 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 15:32 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Moores, Alexandra.

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