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RNaseE and RNA helicase B play central roles in the cytoskeletal organization of the RNA degradosome.

Taghbalout A., Rothfield L.

The RNA degradosome of Escherichia coli is a multiprotein complex that plays an essential role in normal RNA processing and decay. It was recently shown that the major degradosome constituents are organized in a coiled cytoskeletal-like structure that extends along the length of the cell. Here we show that the endoribonuclease E (RNaseE) and RNA helicase B (RhlB) components of the degradosome can each independently form coiled structures in the absence of the other degradosome proteins. In contrast, the cytoskeletal organization of the other degradosome proteins required the presence of the RNaseE or RhlB coiled elements. Although the RNaseE and RhlB structures were equally competent to support the helical organization of polynucleotide phosphorylase, the cytoskeletal-like organization of enolase occurred only in the presence of the RNaseE coiled structure. The results indicate that the RNA degradosome proteins are components of the bacterial cytoskeleton rather than existing as randomly distributed multiprotein complexes within the cell and suggest a model for the cellular organization of the components within the helical degradosomal structure.

J. Biol. Chem. 283:13850-13855(2008) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]