The impact of Hfq-mediated sRNA-mRNA interactome on the virulence of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli

Sivan Pearl Mizrahi*, Netanel Elbaz, Liron Argaman, Yael Altuvia, Naama Katsowich, Yaakov Socol, Amir Bar, Ilan Rosenshine*, Hanah Margalit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Small RNAs (sRNAs) exert their regulation posttranscriptionally by base pairing with their target mRNAs, often in association with the RNA chaperone protein Hfq. Here, integrating RNA-seq-based technologies and bioinformatics, we deciphered the Hfq-mediated sRNA-target interactome of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC). The emerging network comprises hundreds of sRNA-mRNA pairs, including mRNAs of virulence-associated genes interacting with known sRNAs encoded within the core genome, as well as with newly found sRNAs encoded within pathogenicity islands. Some of the sRNAs affect multiple virulence genes, suggesting they function as hubs of virulence control. We further analyzed one such sRNA hub, MgrR, and one of its targets identified here, the major virulence-associated chaperon, cesT. We show that MgrR adjusts the level of EPEC cytotoxicity via regulation of CesT expression. Our results reveal an elaborate sRNA-mRNA interactome controlling the pathogenicity of EPEC and reinforce a role for sRNAs in the control of pathogen-host interaction.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbereabi8228
JournalScience advances
Issue number44
StatePublished - 29 Oct 2021

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Copyright © 2021 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).


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