Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 38057323
Link to DOI – 10.1038/s41467-023-43825-8
Nat Commun 2023 Dec; 14(1): 8072
In the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori, post-transcriptional regulation relies strongly on the activity of the essential ribonuclease RNase J. Here, we elucidated the crystal and cryo-EM structures of RNase J and determined that it assembles into dimers and tetramers in vitro. We found that RNase J extracted from H. pylori is acetylated on multiple lysine residues. Alanine substitution of several of these residues impacts on H. pylori morphology, and thus on RNase J function in vivo. Mutations of Lysine 649 modulates RNase J oligomerization in vitro, which in turn influences ribonuclease activity in vitro. Our structural analyses of RNase J reveal loops that gate access to the active site and rationalizes how acetylation state of K649 can influence activity. We propose acetylation as a regulatory level controlling the activity of RNase J and its potential cooperation with other enzymes of RNA metabolism in H. pylori.