RNA-RNA Interactomes of ProQ and Hfq Reveal Overlapping and Competing Roles

Sahar Melamed*, Philip P. Adams, Aixia Zhang, Hongen Zhang, Gisela Storz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Base pairing RNAs modulate gene expression in all studied organisms. In many bacteria, the base pairing between most small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) and their targets is mediated by the Hfq RNA chaperone. However, recent studies have shown FinO-domain proteins also bind sRNAs. To examine the global contribution of the FinO-domain ProQ protein in Escherichia coli, we carried out RIL-seq to identify RNA pairs bound to this protein. The RNA-RNA interactome for ProQ contains hundreds of pairs. Intriguingly, a significant fraction of the ProQ-bound RNA pairs are also found associated with Hfq, indicating overlapping, complementary, or competing roles for the two proteins. Characterization of one novel RNA pair bound by both chaperones revealed that while Hfq is required for RNA sponge-mediated downregulation of the sRNA, ProQ can inhibit this regulation. Overall, our results uncover increased complexity in RNA regulatory networks involving RNA chaperone proteins, RNases, sRNAs, and mRNAs.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)411-425.e7
JournalMolecular Cell
Issue number2
StatePublished - 16 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • RNA chaperone
  • RNA sponge
  • RNase II
  • RNase III
  • RybB
  • ribose
  • small RNAs


Dive into the research topics of 'RNA-RNA Interactomes of ProQ and Hfq Reveal Overlapping and Competing Roles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this