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DEAD box RhlB RNA helicase physically associates with exoribonuclease PNPase to degrade double-stranded RNA independent of the degradosome-assembling region of RNase E.

Liou G.-G., Chang H.-Y., Lin C.-S., Lin-Chao S.

The Escherichia coli RNA degradosome is a multicomponent ribonucleolytic complex consisting of three major proteins that assemble on a scaffold provided by the C-terminal region of the endonuclease, RNase E. Using an E. coli two-hybrid system, together with BIAcore apparatus, we investigated the ability of three proteins, polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase), RhlB RNA helicase, and enolase, a glycolytic protein, to interact physically and functionally independently of RNase E. Here we report that Rh1B can physically bind to PNPase, both in vitro and in vivo, and can also form homodimers with itself. However, binding of RhlB or PNPase to enolase was not detected under the same conditions. BIAcore analysis revealed real-time, direct binding for bimolecular interactions between Rh1B units and for the RhlB interaction with PNPase. Furthermore, in the absence of RNase E, purified RhlB can carry out ATP-dependent unwinding of double-stranded RNA and consequently modulate degradation of double-stranded RNA together with the exonuclease activity of PNPase. These results provide evidence for the first time that both functional and physical interactions of individual degradosome protein components can occur in the absence of RNase E and raise the prospect that the RNase E-independent complexes of RhlB RNA helicase and PNPase, detected in vivo, may constitute mini-machines that assist in the degradation of duplex RNA in structures physically distinct from multicomponent RNA degradosomes.

J. Biol. Chem. 277:41157-41162(2002) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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