Engineering a Circular Riboregulator in Escherichia coli

William Rostain, Shensi Shen, Teresa Cordero, Guillermo Rodrigo, Alfonso Jaramillo
2020 BioDesign Research  
RNAs of different shapes and sizes, natural or synthetic, can regulate gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Circular RNAs have recently appeared to be more widespread than previously thought, but their role in prokaryotes remains elusive. Here, by inserting a riboregulatory sequence within a group I permuted intron-exon ribozyme, we created a small noncoding RNA that self-splices to produce a circular riboregulator in Escherichia coli. We showed that the resulting riboregulator can
more » ... iboregulator can trans-activate gene expression by interacting with a cis-repressed messenger RNA. We characterized the system with a fluorescent reporter and with an antibiotic resistance marker, and we modeled this novel posttranscriptional mechanism. This first reported example of a circular RNA regulating gene expression in E. coli adds to an increasing repertoire of RNA synthetic biology parts, and it highlights that topological molecules can play a role in the case of prokaryotic regulation.
doi:10.34133/2020/1916789 fatcat:ytk6ytroqbazzg5nmehs4duidu