New On Nature.com: Identification Of Novel SRNAs Involved In Biofilm Formation, Motility, And Fimbriae Formation In Escherichia Coli
Published online on October 15, 2015 by Scientific Reports, this paper by Geunu Bak, Jungmin Lee, Shinae Suk, Daun Kim, Ji Young Lee, Byong-Seok Choi and Younghoon Lee (KAIST, Korea) and Kwang-sun Kim (KRIBB, Korea) is now available to view.
Bacterial small RNAs (sRNAs) are known regulators in many physiological processes. In Escherichia coli, a large number of sRNAs have been predicted, among which only about a hundred are experimentally validated. Despite considerable research, the majority of their functions remain uncovered. Therefore, collective analysis of the roles of sRNAs in specific cellular processes may provide an effective approach to identify their functions. Here, we constructed a collection of plasmids overexpressing 99 individual sRNAs, and analyzed their effects on biofilm formation and related phenotypes. Thirty-three sRNAs significantly affecting these cellular processes were identified. No consistent correlations were observed, except that all five sRNAs suppressing type I fimbriae inhibited biofilm formation. Interestingly, IS118, yet to be characterized, suppressed all the processes. Our data not only reveal potentially critical functions of individual sRNAs in biofilm formation and other phenotypes but also highlight the unexpected complexity of sRNA-mediated metabolic pathways leading to these processes.