Understanding the role of the key ribonuclease RNase Y in the control of gene expression in B. subtilis

PI:  Harald Putzer 

Microbial Gene Expression laboratory

1-year contract

The instability of messenger RNA is fundamental to the control of gene expression. In bacteria, the major mRNA decay pathways initiate with an endonucleolytic cleavage (1). In Bacillus subtilis and probably many other bacteria, RNase Y is the major RNA decay initiating endoribonuclease. Based on preliminary results we currently focus on two aspects: 1) What is the precise mechanism by which RNase Y can control its own expression? 2) RNase Y is directly involved in modulating the biosynthesis of a translation initiation factor (2). We want to understand how physiological conditions could alter RNase Y activity, thereby establishing a potential direct link between mRNA degradation and translation.

The project will involve in vivo and in vitro approaches using molecular biological and biochemical methods.

(1) Laalami S., Zig L. and H. Putzer (2014). Initiation of mRNA decay in bacteria. Cell Mol Life Sci, 71, 1799-1828.

(2) Bruscella P., Shahbabian K., Laalami S. and H. Putzer (2011). RNase Y is responsible for uncoupling the expression of translation factor IF3 from that of the ribosomal proteins L35 and L20 in Bacillus subtilis. Mol. Microbiol., 81, 1526-1541.


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