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Circuitry linking the global Csr and sigma(E)-dependent cell envelope stress response systems.

Yakhnin H., Aichele R., Ades S.E., Romeo T., Babitzke P.

CsrA of Escherichia coli is an RNA-binding protein that globally regulates a wide variety of cellular processes and behaviors including carbon metabolism, motility, biofilm formation, and the stringent response. CsrB and CsrC are sRNAs that sequester CsrA, thereby preventing CsrA-mRNA interaction. RpoE (σE) is the extracytoplasmic stress response sigma factor of E. coli Previous RNA-seq studies identified rpoE mRNA as a CsrA target. Here we explored the regulation of rpoE by CsrA and found that CsrA represses rpoE translation. Gel mobility shift, footprint and toeprint studies identified three CsrA binding sites in the rpoE leader transcript, one of which overlaps the rpoE Shine-Dalgarno (SD) sequence, while another overlaps the rpoE translation initiation codon. Coupled in vitro transcription-translation experiments showed that CsrA represses rpoE translation by binding to these sites. We further demonstrate that σE indirectly activates transcription of csrB and csrC, leading to increased sequestration of CsrA such that repression of rpoE by CsrA is reduced. We propose that the Csr system fine-tunes the σE-dependent cell envelope stress response. We also identified a 51 amino acid coding sequence whose stop codon overlaps the rpoE start codon, and demonstrate that rpoE is translationally coupled with this upstream open reading frame (ORF51). Loss of coupling reduces rpoE translation by more than 50%. Identification of a translationally coupled ORF upstream of rpoE suggests that this previously unannotated protein may participate in the cell envelope stress response. In keeping with existing nomenclature, we name ORF51 as rseD, resulting in an operon arrangement of rseD-rpoE-rseA-rseB-rseCIMPORTANCE CsrA posttranscriptionally represses genes required for bacterial stress responses, including the stringent response, catabolite repression, and the RpoS (σS)-mediated general stress response. We show that CsrA represses translation of rpoE, encoding the extracytoplasmic stress response sigma factor and that σE indirectly activates transcription of csrB and csrC, resulting in reciprocal regulation of these two global regulatory systems. These findings suggest that extracytoplasmic stress leads to derepression of rpoE translation by CsrA, and CsrA-mediated repression helps to reset RpoE abundance to pre-stress levels once envelope damage is repaired. The discovery of an ORF, RseD, translationally coupled with rpoE adds further complexity to translational control of rpoE.

J. Bacteriol. 0:0-0(2017) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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