CsrA Represses Translation of sdiA, Which Encodes the N-acylhomoserine-L-lactone receptor of Escherichia coli, by Binding exclusively within the coding region of sdiA mRNA

Helen Yakhnin, Carol S. Baker, Igor Berezin, Michael A. Evangelista, Alisa Rassin, Tony Romeo, Paul Babitzke

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The RNA binding protein CsrA is the central component of a conserved global regulatory system that activates or represses gene expression posttranscriptionally. In every known example of CsrA-mediated translational control, CsrA binds to the 5'untranslated region of target transcripts, thereby repressing translation initiation and/or altering the stability of the RNA. Furthermore, with few exceptions, repression by CsrA involves binding directly to the Shine-Dalgarno sequence and blocking ribosome binding. sdiA encodes the quorum-sensing receptor for N-acyl-L-homoserine lactone in Escherichia coli. Because sdiA indirectly stimulates transcription of csrB, which encodes a small RNA (sRNA) antagonist of CsrA, we further explored the relationship between sdiA and the Csr system. Primer extension analysis revealed four putative transcription start sites within 85 nucleotides of the sdiA initiation codon. Potential σ 70-dependent promoters were identified for each of these primer extension products. In addition, two CsrA binding sites were predicted in the initially translated region of sdiA. Expression of chromosomally integrated sdiA'-'lacZ translational fusions containing the entire promoter and CsrA binding site regions indicates that CsrA represses sdiA expression. The results from gel shift and footprint studies demonstrate that tight binding of CsrA requires both of these sites. Furthermore, the results from toeprint and in vitro translation experiments indicate that CsrA represses translation of sdiA by directly competing with 30S ribosomal subunit binding. Thus, this represents the first example of CsrA preventing translation by interacting solely within the coding region of an mRNA target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6162-6170
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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