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© Pierre Gounon
Entrée de Listeria dans une cellule épithéliale (Grossissement X 10000). Image colorisée.
Publication : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

A riboswitch-regulated antisense RNA in Listeria monocytogenes

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America - 22 Jul 2013

Mellin JR, Tiensuu T, Bécavin C, Gouin E, Johansson J, Cossart P

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 23878253

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2013 Aug;110(32):13132-7

Riboswitches are ligand-binding elements located in 5′ untranslated regions of messenger RNAs, which regulate expression of downstream genes. In Listeria monocytogenes, a vitamin B12-binding (B12) riboswitch was identified, not upstream of a gene but downstream, and antisense to the adjacent gene, pocR, suggesting it might regulate pocR in a nonclassical manner. In Salmonella enterica, PocR is a transcription factor that is activated by 1,2-propanediol, and subsequently activates expression of the pdu genes. The pdu genes mediate propanediol catabolism and are implicated in pathogenesis. As enzymes involved in propanediol catabolism require B12 as a cofactor, we hypothesized that the Listeria B12 riboswitch might be involved in pocR regulation. Here we demonstrate that the B12 riboswitch is transcribed as part of a noncoding antisense RNA, herein named AspocR. In the presence of B12, the riboswitch induces transcriptional termination, causing aspocR to be transcribed as a short transcript. In contrast, in the absence of B12, aspocR is transcribed as a long antisense RNA, which inhibits pocR expression. Regulation by AspocR ensures that pocR, and consequently the pdu genes, are maximally expressed only when both propanediol and B12 are present. Strikingly, AspocR can inhibit pocR expression in trans, suggesting it acts through a direct interaction with pocR mRNA. Together, this study demonstrates how pocR and the pdu genes can be regulated by B12 in bacteria and extends the classical definition of riboswitches from elements governing solely the expression of mRNAs to a wider role in controlling transcription of noncoding RNAs.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23878253