1887

Abstract

RNAs, such as mRNA, rRNA and tRNA, are essential macromolecules for cell survival and maintenance. Any perturbation of these molecules, such as by degradation or mutation, can be toxic to cells and may occasionally induce cell death. Therefore, cells have mechanisms known as quality control systems to eliminate abnormal RNAs. Although tRNA is a stable molecule, the anticodon loop is quite susceptible to tRNA-targeting RNases such as colicin E5 and colicin D. However, the mechanism underlying cellular reaction to tRNA cleavage remains unclear. It had long been believed that tRNA cleavage by colicins E5 and D promptly induces cell death because colony formation of the sensitive cells is severely reduced; this indicates that cells do not resist the tRNA cleavage. Here, we show that cells enter a bacteriostatic state against the tRNA cleavage of colicins D and E5. The bacteriostasis requires small protein B (SmpB) and transfer-messenger RNA (tmRNA), which are known to mediate -translation. Furthermore, another type of colicin, colicin E3 cleaving rRNA, immediately reduces the viability of sensitive cells. Moreover, nascent peptide degradation has an additive effect on bacteriostasis. Considering the recent observation that tRNA cleavage may be used as a means of cell-to-cell communication, tRNA cleavage could be used by bacteria not only to dominate other bacteria living in the same niche, but also to regulate growth of their own or other cells.

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/content/journal/micro/10.1099/mic.0.000144
2015-10-01
2019-12-11
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