A small, stable RNA induced by oxidative stress: Role as a pleiotropic regulator and antimutator

Shoshy Altuvia*, Dalit Weinstein-Fischer, Aixia Zhang, Lisa Postow, Gisela Storz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

396 Scopus citations


Exposure of E. coli to hydrogen peroxide induces the transcription of a small RNA denoted oxyS. The oxyS RNA is stable, abundant, and does not encode a protein. oxyS activates and represses the expression of numerous genes in E. coli, and eight targets, including genes encoding the transcriptional regulators FhlA and σ8, were identified. oxyS expression also leads to a reduction in spontaneous and chemically-induced mutagenesis. Our results suggest that the oxyS RNA acts as a regulator that integrates adaptation to hydrogen peroxide with other cellular stress responses and helps to protect cells against oxidative damage.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)43-53
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - 11 Jul 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank B. Ames for supporting experiments that were conducted by G. S. at the University of California, Berkeley. We also thank C. Klee for performing the peptide sequence analysis; P. Baird for technical assistance; and A. Böck, A. Cohen, J. Elliott, R. Hengge-Aronis, Z. Livneh, J. Miller, R. Simons, D. Smith, N. Trun, and R. Woodgate for antibodies, strains, plasmids, and phage. We also appreciate the experimental advice of R. Hengge-Aronis, Z. Livneh, and N. Trun and the editorial comments of E. Bruggemann, R. Klausner, R. Kolter, D. Wasserman, and C. Wu. This work was supported by the intramural program of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, by grant number 95-00092 from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, and by internal funds from the Hebrew University (S. A.).


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