Multifaceted RNA-mediated regulatory mechanisms in Streptococcus pyogenes
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Bacterial pathogens rely on precise regulation of gene expression to coordinate host infection processes and resist invasion by mobile genetic elements. An interconnected network of protein and RNA regulators dynamically controls the expression of virulence factors using a variety of mechanisms. In this thesis, the role of selected regulators, belonging to the class of small RNAs (sRNAs), is investigated.
Streptococcus pyogenes is a pathogen responsible for a wide range of human diseases. Genome-wide screenings have indicated that S. pyogenes encodes numerous sRNAs, yet only a limited number have been characterized. A major goal of this study was to identify and characterize novel sRNAs and antisense RNAs (asRNAs) using RNA sequencing analysis. We validated 30 novel sRNAs and asRNAs, and identified 9 sRNAs directly cleaved by the ribonucleases RNase III and/or RNase Y.
Previous work from the laboratory has highlighted the role of sRNAs from the type II Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats-CRISPR associated proteins (CRISPR-Cas) systems in S. pyogenes. CRISPR-Cas systems provide adaptive immunity to prokaryotes against infection by mobile genetic elements. Two sRNAs, forming a complementary duplex (dual-RNA), are effectors of this system: the mature CRISPR RNAs (crRNAs) and the trans-activating crRNA (tracrRNA). The dual-RNA guides the Cas9 endonuclease to cleave both strands of the invading DNA in a sequence-specific manner. This RNA-programmable CRISPR-Cas9 system is now utilized for genome editing and engineering in a wide range of cells and organisms. To expand the potentialities of this tool, we both, searched for Cas9 orthologs and predicted numerous tracrRNA orthologs. We defined tracrRNA as a new family of sRNAs sharing the ability to base-pair to cognate crRNAs, without conservation of structure, sequence or location. We show that Cas9 and the dual tracrRNA:crRNAs are only interchangeable between closely related type II CRISPR-Cas systems.
In summary, this thesis presents new insights into RNA-mediated regulatory mechanisms in S. pyogenes. We identified and described the expression of novel sRNAs, highlighting potential antisense RNAs. Focusing on the dual-RNA programmable type II CRISPR-Cas system, we provided evidence for co-evolution of the Cas9 enzyme with tracrRNA:crRNA, a basis for Cas9 multiplexing in genome editing.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå university , 2015. , 75 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1732
Streptococcus pyogenes, small RNAs, CRISPR, Cas9, tracrRNA, RNases, gene expression, RNA sequencing
Microbiology Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research subject Infectious Diseases; Microbiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-111090ISBN: 978-91-7601-304-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-111090DiVA: diva2:868035
2015-12-14, Unod R1, Hörsal E04, Byggnad 6E, NUS - Norrlands universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Narberhaus, Franz, Professor
Charpentier, Emmanuelle, Professor
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