Only recently has it been recognized that the transcriptome of bacteria and archaea can be spatiotemporally regulated. All types of prokaryotic transcripts—rRNAs, tRNAs, mRNAs, and regulatory RNAs—may acquire specific localization and these patterns can be temporally regulated. In some cases bacterial RNAs reside in the vicinity of the transcription site, but in many others, transcripts show distinct localizations to the cytoplasm, the inner membrane, or the pole of rod-shaped species. This localization, which often overlaps with that of the encoded proteins, can be achieved either in a translation-dependent or translation-independent fashion. The latter implies that RNAs carry sequence-level features that determine their final localization with the aid of RNA-targeting factors. Localization of transcripts regulates their posttranscriptional fate by affecting their degradation and processing, translation efficiency, sRNA-mediated regulation, and/or propensity to undergo RNA modifications. By facilitating complex assembly and liquid–liquid phase separation, RNA localization is not only a consequence but also a driver of subcellular spatiotemporal complexity. We foresee that in the coming years the study of RNA localization in prokaryotes will produce important novel insights regarding the fundamental understanding of membrane-less subcellular organization and lead to practical outputs with biotechnological and therapeutic implications. This article is categorized under: RNA Export and Localization > RNA Localization Regulatory RNAs/RNAi/Riboswitches > Regulatory RNAs RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > Protein-RNA Interactions: Functional Implications.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We appreciate helpful discussions with members of OAC group. We thank Nitsan Albocher for valuable advice on graphics. This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) founded by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (1274/19) and the Deutsch‐Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP) (AM 441/1‐1 SO 568/1‐1).
We appreciate helpful discussions with members of OAC group. We thank Nitsan Albocher for valuable advice on graphics. This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) founded by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (1274/19) and the Deutsch-Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP) (AM 441/1-1 SO 568/1-1).
Deutsch‐Israeli Project Cooperation, Grant/Award Number: AM 441/1‐1 SO 568/1‐1; Israel Science Foundation, Grant/Award Number: 1274/19 Funding information
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- RNA localization
- RNA zipcodes
- local translation
- subcellular organization of prokaryotes