MinD-RNase E interplay controls localization of polar mRNAs in E. coli

Shanmugapriya Kannaiah*, Omer Goldberger, Nawsad Alam, Georgina Barnabas, Yair Pozniak, Anat Nussbaum-Shochat, Ora Schueler-Furman, Tamar Geiger, Orna Amster-Choder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The E. coli transcriptome at the cell's poles (polar transcriptome) is unique compared to the membrane and cytosol. Several factors have been suggested to mediate mRNA localization to the membrane, but the mechanism underlying polar localization of mRNAs remains unknown. Here, we combined a candidate system approach with proteomics to identify factors that mediate mRNAs localization to the cell poles. We identified the pole-to-pole oscillating protein MinD as an essential factor regulating polar mRNA localization, although it is not able to bind RNA directly. We demonstrate that RNase E, previously shown to interact with MinD, is required for proper localization of polar mRNAs. Using in silico modeling followed by experimental validation, the membrane-binding site in RNase E was found to mediate binding to MinD. Intriguingly, not only does MinD affect RNase E interaction with the membrane, but it also affects its mode of action and dynamics. Polar accumulation of RNase E in ΔminCDE cells resulted in destabilization and depletion of mRNAs from poles. Finally, we show that mislocalization of polar mRNAs may prevent polar localization of their protein products. Taken together, our findings show that the interplay between MinD and RNase E determines the composition of the polar transcriptome, thus assigning previously unknown roles for both proteins.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)637-662
Number of pages26
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • Bacterial Cell Organization
  • Bacterial Cell Poles
  • MinD
  • RNA Localization
  • RNase E


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