Regulating with ribonucleases in Streptococcus pyogenes
Bacteria have developed a plethora of strategies to cope with constantly changing environmental conditions, including post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms. With this regard, regulation of gene expression can be achieved by either the rapid removal or stabilization of RNA molecules by ribonucleases (RNases). RNases exhibit species-specific effects on gene expression, bacterial physiology and different strategies of target recognition, indicating that our understanding of the RNA
... the RNA degradation machinery is not yet complete. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the features and functions of endoRNase Y from the strict human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes. To gain insight into the role and specificity of this RNase, we identified RNase Y cleavage positions (i.e. targetome) genome-wide by RNA sequencing. Next, to investigate the RNA degradation pathway depending on RNase Y, we compared the RNase Y targetome with the ones of the three 3′-to-5′ exoribonuclease (exoRNases), namely PNPase, YhaM and RNase R. Finally, to dissect the requirements for RNase Y processing and to decipher the role of RNase Y in virulence gene regulation, we studied the impact of RNase Y on speB mRNA, encoding a major virulence factor. This study reveals that RNase Y preferentially cleaves RNAs downstream of a guanosine and for the first time we were able to show that the presence of a guanosine residue is essential for the processing of speB mRNA, in vivo. Although RNase Y cleaves the speB mRNA, our data underpin a model in which RNase Y-mediated regulation of speB expression occurs at the transcriptional level. Using the targetome comparative approach, we demonstrated that RNase Y initiates RNA decay in S. pyogenes and that the RNase Y-generated RNA 3′ ends are usually further trimmed by PNPase and/or YhaM. Overall, these findings increase our understanding of RNase Y functionality and RNA degradation in Gram-positive bacteria.