Cross-regulation between bacteria and phages at a posttranscriptional level

Shoshy Altuvia*, Gisela Storz, Kai Papenfort

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

The study of bacteriophages (phages) and prophages has provided key insights into almost every cellular process as well as led to the discovery of unexpected new mechanisms and the development of valuable tools. This is exemplified for RNA-based regulation. For instance, the characterization and exploitation of the antiphage CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat) systems is revolutionizing molecular biology. Phage-encoded proteins such as the RNA-binding MS2 protein, which is broadly used to isolate tagged RNAs, also have been developed as valuable tools. Hfq, the RNA chaperone protein central to the function of many base-pairing small RNAs (sRNAs), was first characterized as a bacterial host factor required for Qβ phage replication. The ongoing studies of RNAs are continuing to reveal regulatory connections between infecting phages, prophages, and bacteria and to provide novel insights. There are bacterial and prophage sRNAs that regulate prophage genes, which impact bacterial virulence as well as bacterial cell killing. Conversely, phage-and prophage-encoded sRNAs modulate the expression of bacterial genes modifying metabolism. An interesting subcategory of the prophage-encoded sRNAs are sponge RNAs that inhibit the activities of bacterial-encoded sRNAs. Phages also affect posttranscriptional regulation in bacteria through proteins that inhibit or alter the activities of key bacterial proteins involved in posttranscriptional regulation. However, what is most exciting about phage and prophage research, given the millions of phage-encoded genes that have not yet been characterized, is the vast potential for discovering new RNA regulators and novel mechanisms and for gaining insight into the evolution of regulatory RNAs.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank K. Fr?hlich, S. Gottesman, and S. Krishnamurthy for comments on the manuscript. Work in the lab of S.A. is supported by GIF (G-1311-416.13/2015); the Israel Science Foundation founded by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (711/ 13); the Israel Centers of Research Excellence (ICORE), Chromatin and RNA (1796/12); and DIP (AM 441/1-1 SO 568/1-1); work in the lab of G.S. is supported by the Intramural Program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and work in the lab of K.P. is supported by DFG (Exc114-2, GRK2062, SPP2002, PA2820/1, and TRR174), the Human Frontiers Science Program (CDA00024/ 2016-C), GIF (G-2411-416.13/2016), and the European Research Council (StG-758212).

Funding Information:
We thank K. Fröhlich, S. Gottesman, and S. Krishnamurthy for comments on the manuscript. Work in the lab of S.A. is supported by GIF (G-1311-416.13/2015); the Israel Science Foundation founded by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (711/ 13); the Israel Centers of Research Excellence (ICORE), Chromatin and RNA (1796/12); and DIP (AM 441/1-1 SO 568/1-1); work in the lab of G.S. is supported by the Intramural Program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and work in the lab of K.P. is supported by DFG (Exc114-2, GRK2062, SPP2002, PA2820/1, and TRR174), the Human Frontiers Science Program (CDA00024/ 2016-C), GIF (G-2411-416.13/2016), and the European Research Council (StG-758212).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Society for Microbiology.

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