Identification and characterization of the sRNA network in Neisseria meningitidis

Fantappiè, Laura (2011) Identification and characterization of the sRNA network in Neisseria meningitidis , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia cellulare, molecolare e industriale/cellular, molecular and industrial biology: progetto n. 2 Biologia funzionale dei sistemi cellulari e molecolari, 23 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/3424.
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Bacterial small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) are posttranscriptional regulators involved in stress responses. These short non-coding transcripts are synthesised in response to a signal, and control gene expression of their regulons by modulating the translation or stability of the target mRNAs, often in concert with the RNA chaperone Hfq. Characterization of a Hfq knock out mutant in Neisseria meningitidis revealed that it has a pleiotropic phenotype, suggesting a major role for Hfq in adaptation to stresses and virulence and the presence of Hfq-dependent sRNA activity. Global gene expression analysis of regulated transcripts in the Hfq mutant revealed the presence of a regulated sRNA, incorrectly annotated as an open reading frame, which we renamed AniS. The synthesis of this novel sRNA is anaerobically induced through activation of its promoter by the FNR global regulator and through global gene expression analyses we identified at least two predicted mRNA targets of AniS. We also performed a detailed molecular analysis of the action of the sRNA NrrF,. We demonstrated that NrrF regulates succinate dehydrogenase by forming a duplex with a region of complementarity within the sdhDA region of the succinate dehydrogenase transcript, and Hfq enhances the binding of this sRNA to the identified target in the sdhCDAB mRNA; this is likely to result in rapid turnover of the transcript in vivo. In addition, in order to globally investigate other possible sRNAs of N. meningitdis we Deep-sequenced the transcriptome of this bacterium under both standard in vitro and iron-depleted conditions. This analysis revealed genes that were actively transcribed under the two conditions. We focused our attention on the transcribed non-coding regions of the genome and, along with 5’ and 3’ untranslated regions, 19 novel candidate sRNAs were identified. Further studies will be focused on the identification of the regulatory networks of these sRNAs, and their targets.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Fantappiè, Laura
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
sRNAs Hfq Neisseria meningitidis
Data di discussione
15 Aprile 2011

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