In Escherichia coli the initial step in the processing or decay of many messenger and structural RNAs is mediated by the endonuclease RNase E, which forms the core of a large RNA-catalysis machine termed the degradosome. Previous experiments have identified a protein that globally modulates RNA abundance by binding to RNase E and regulating its endonucleolytic activity. Here we report the discovery of RraB, which interacts with a different site on RNase E and interferes with cleavage of a different set of transcripts. We show that expression of RraA or RraB in vivo is accompanied by dramatic, distinct, and inhibitor-specific changes in degradosome composition - and that these are in turn associated with alterations in RNA decay and global transcript abundance profiles that are dissimilar to the profile observed during simple RNase E deficiency. Our results reveal the existence of endonuclease binding proteins that modulate the remodelling of degradosome composition in bacteria and argue that such degradosome remodelling is a mechanism for the differential regulation of RNA cleavages in E. coli.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology