TitleDiscovery of ANTAR-RNAs and their Mechanism of Action in Mycobacteria.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsMehta D, Koottathazhath A, Ramesh A
JournalJ Mol Biol
Date Published2020 May 15

Non-coding RNAs play pivotal roles in bacterial signaling. However, RNAs from certain phyla (specially high-GC actinobacteria) still remain elusive. Here, by re-engineering the existing genome-wide search approach, we discover a family of structurally conserved RNAs that are present ubiquitously across actinobacteria, including mycobacteria. In vitro analysis shows that RNAs belonging to this family bind response-regulator proteins that contain the widely prevalent ANTAR domain. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis ANTAR protein gets phosphorylated by a histidine kinase and interacts with RNA only in its phosphorylated state. These newly identified RNAs reside only in certain transcripts and typically overlap with the ribosome-binding site, regulating translation of these transcripts. In this way, the RNAs directly link signaling pathways to translational control, thus expanding the mechanistic tool kit available for ANTAR-based control of gene expression. In mycobacteria, we find that RNAs targeted by ANTAR proteins majorly encode enzymes of lipid metabolism and associated redox pathways. This now allows us to identify the key genes that mediate ANTAR-dependent control of lipid metabolism. Our study establishes the identity and wide prevalence of ANTAR-target RNAs in mycobacteria, bringing RNA-mediated regulation in these bacteria to the center stage.

Alternate JournalJ. Mol. Biol.
PubMed ID32422150