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Journal Articles Microbiology Year : 2014

Physiological roles of small RNA molecules

Abstract

Unlike proteins, RNA molecules have emerged lately as key players in regulation in bacteria. Most reviews hitherto focused on the experimental and/or in silico methods used to identify genes encoding small RNAs (sRNAs) or on the diverse mechanisms of these RNA regulators to modulate expression of their targets. However, less is known about their biological functions and their implications in various physiological responses. This review aims to compile what is known presently about the diverse roles of sRNA transcripts in the regulation of metabolic processes, in different growth conditions, in adaptation to stress and in microbial pathogenesis. Several recent studies revealed that sRNA molecules are implicated in carbon metabolism and transport, amino acid metabolism or metal sensing. Moreover, regulatory RNAs participate in cellular adaptation to environmental changes, e.g. through quorum sensing systems or development of biofilms, and analyses of several sRNAs under various physiological stresses and culture conditions have already been performed. In addition, recent experiments performed with Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens showed that regulatory RNAs play important roles in microbial virulence and during infection. The combined results show the diversity of regulation mechanisms and physiological processes in which sRNA molecules are key actors.

Dates and versions

hal-02180827 , version 1 (11-07-2019)

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Charlotte Michaux, Nicolas Verneuil, Axel Hartke, Jean-Christophe Giard. Physiological roles of small RNA molecules. Microbiology, 2014, 160 (Pt_6), pp.1007-1019. ⟨10.1099/mic.0.076208-0⟩. ⟨hal-02180827⟩
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