Analysis of mRNA decay and rRNA processing in Escherichia coli multiple mutants carrying a deletion in RNase III

P. Babitzke, L. Granger, J. Olszewski, S. R. Kushner

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Abstract

RNase III is an endonuclease involved in processing both rRNA and certain mRNAs. To help determine whether RNase III (rnc) is required for general mRNA turnover in Escherichia coli, we have created a deletion-insertion mutation (Δrnc-38) in the structural gene. In addition, a series of multiple mutant strains containing deficiencies in RNase II (rnb-500), polynucleotide phosphorylase (pnp-7 or pnp-200), RNase E (rne-1 or rne-3071), and RNase III (Δrnc-38) were constructed. The Δrnc-38 single mutant was viable and led to the accumulation of 30S rRNA precursors, as has been previously observed with the rnc-105 allele (P. Gegenheimer, N. Watson, and D. Apirion, J. Biol. Chem. 252:3064-3073, 1977). In the multiple mutant strains, the presence of the Δrnc-38 allele resulted in the more rapid decay of pulse-labeled RNA but did not suppress conditional lethality, suggesting that the lethality associated with altered mRNA turnover may be due to the stabilization of specific mRNAs. In addition, these results indicate that RNase III is probably not required for general mRNA decay. Of particular interest was the observation that the Δrnc-38 rne-1 double mutant did not accumulate 30S rRNA precursors at 30°C, while the Δrnc-38 rne-3071 double mutant did. Possible explanations of these results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-239
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Volume175
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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