Miller E.W.,University of Nevada, Reno |
Cao T.N.,Center for Molecular and Translational Human Infectious Diseases Research The Houston Methodist Research Institute Houston |
Pflughoeft K.J.,University of Nevada, Reno |
Sumby P.,University of Nevada, Reno
Molecular Microbiology | Year: 2014
RNA-based mechanisms of regulation represent a ubiquitous class of regulators that are associated with diverse processes including nutrient sensing, stress response, modulation of horizontal gene transfer, and virulence factor expression. While better studied in Gram-negative bacteria, the literature is replete with examples of the importance of RNA-mediated regulatory mechanisms to the virulence and fitness of Gram-positives. Regulatory RNAs are classified as cis-acting, e.g. riboswitches, which modulate the transcription, translation, or stability of co-transcribed RNA, or trans-acting, e.g. small regulatory RNAs, which target separate mRNAs or proteins. The group A Streptococcus (GAS, Streptococcus pyogenes) is a Gram-positive bacterial pathogen from which several regulatory RNA mechanisms have been characterized. The study of RNA-mediated regulation in GAS has uncovered novel concepts with respect to how small regulatory RNAs may positively regulate target mRNA stability, and to how CRISPR RNAs are processed from longer precursors. This review provides an overview of RNA-mediated regulation in Gram-positive bacteria, and is highlighted with specific examples from GAS research. The key roles that these systems play in regulating bacterial virulence are discussed and future perspectives outlined. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.