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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board Member: Buchner, Johannes / Lei, Ming / Ludwig, Stephan / Sies, Helmut / Thomas, Douglas D. / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

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Volume 386, Issue 12 (Dec 2005)


RNA thermometers are common in α- and γ-proteobacteria

Torsten Waldminghaus
  • Lehrstuhl für Biologie der Mikroorganismen, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, D-44780 Bochum, Germany
/ Anja Fippinger
  • Lehrstuhl für Biologie der Mikroorganismen, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, D-44780 Bochum, Germany
/ Juliane Alfsmann
  • Lehrstuhl für Biologie der Mikroorganismen, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, D-44780 Bochum, Germany
/ Franz Narberhaus
  • Lehrstuhl für Biologie der Mikroorganismen, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, D-44780 Bochum, Germany
Published Online: 2005-12-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/BC.2005.145


Expression of many rhizobial small heat-shock genes is controlled by the ROSE element, a thermoresponsive structure in the 5′-untranslated region of the corresponding mRNAs. Using a bioinformatics approach, we found more than 20 new potential ROSE-like RNA thermometers upstream of small heat-shock genes in a wide variety of α- and γ-proteobacteria. Northern blot analyses revealed heat-inducible transcripts of the representative candidate Caulobacter crescentus CC2258, Escherichia coli ibpA and Salmonella typhimurium ibpA genes. Typical σ32-type promoters were mapped upstream of the potential RNA thermometers by primer extension. Additional translational control was demonstrated in a lacZ reporter system and by site-directed mutagenesis. RNA secondary structure predictions strongly suggest that the Shine-Dalgarno sequence in the RNA thermometers is masked at low temperatures. Combining two regulatory modules, a σ32 promoter and a ROSE-type RNA thermometer, provides a novel stringent mechanism to control expression of small heat-shock genes.

Keywords: heat shock; regulation; riboswitch; RNA sensors; translational control


About the article

Corresponding author

Received: July 14, 2005

Accepted: August 29, 2005

Published Online: 2005-12-09

Published in Print: 2005-12-01

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry, ISSN (Online) 1437-4315, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/BC.2005.145. Export Citation

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