The long range goal of this project still remains to understand the role that polyadenylation plays in post-transcriptional regulation in prokaryotes. Although long considered to be a feature unique to eukaryotes, over the past 10 years it has been shown that polyadenylation is intimately involved in mRNA decay, rRNA processing, tRNA maturation and overall RNA quality contol in Escherichia coli. Of equal importance, it has now been shown that polyadenylation, either by poly(A) polymerase type enzymes or polynucleotide phosphorylase are involved in the post-transcriptional modification of RNA in almost all prokaryotes. In addition, over the past few years it has been shown that eukaryotes contain a nuclear polyadenylation system that closely mimics the E. coli system in that it targets defective Pol II transcripts for degradation. Thus E. coli is an excellent prokaryotic model system for studying this complex system. Based on the progress that we have made during the current grant period, we are now in a position to develop a much more sophisticated understanding of both the biochemical mechanism of polyadenylation and the roles it plays in mRNA decay, tRNA maturation and rRNA processing. Specific experimental approaches include: 1. Analyze the composition and function of the polyadenylation complex in vivo and in vitro;2. Determine the essential requirements for a Rho-independent transcription terminator to function as a polyadenylation signal;3. Determine whether PAP I preferentially polyadenylates full-length or partially degraded transcripts;4. Determine the role of polyadenylation in the maturation of rRNAs and tRNAs;and 5. Analyze the interactions between poly(A) tails and the RNase E-based degradosome in the initiation of mRNA decay. Since polyadenylation appears to be present in a wide range of prokaryotes, including many pathogenic organisms, a more complete understanding of this system provides an opportunity to identify new targets for anti- microbials that will be active against either gram negative or gram positive bacteria.

Public Health Relevance

Although polyadenylation has long been considered to be a unique feature of eukaryotes, over the past ten years it has been shown to be intimately involved in mRNA decay, rRNA processing and tRNA maturation in the model organism Escherichia coli. Of equal importance, it has now been demonstrated that polyadenylation is involved in the post-transcriptional modification of RNAs in almost all prokaryotes. Thus the experiments proposed in this application are designed to develop a much more sophisticated understanding of both the biochemical mechanism of polyadenylation and the roles that it plays in mRNA decay, rRNA processing and tRNA maturation through a combination of biochemical, genetic, and bioinformatic experimental approaches.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01GM057220-12
Application #
8208080
Study Section
Molecular Genetics B Study Section (MGB)
Program Officer
Sledjeski, Darren D
Project Start
1999-08-01
Project End
2013-12-31
Budget Start
2012-01-01
Budget End
2013-12-31
Support Year
12
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$332,499
Indirect Cost
$107,076
Name
University of Georgia
Department
Genetics
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
004315578
City
Athens
State
GA
Country
United States
Zip Code
30602
Mohanty, Bijoy K; Kushner, Sidney R (2006) The majority of Escherichia coli mRNAs undergo post-transcriptional modification in exponentially growing cells. Nucleic Acids Res 34:5695-704
Perwez, Tariq; Kushner, Sidney R (2006) RNase Z in Escherichia coli plays a significant role in mRNA decay. Mol Microbiol 60:723-37
Kushner, Sidney R (2004) mRNA decay in prokaryotes and eukaryotes: different approaches to a similar problem. IUBMB Life 56:585-94
Mohanty, Bijoy K; Maples, Valerie F; Kushner, Sidney R (2004) The Sm-like protein Hfq regulates polyadenylation dependent mRNA decay in Escherichia coli. Mol Microbiol 54:905-20
Mohanty, Bijoy K; Kushner, Sidney R (2003) Genomic analysis in Escherichia coli demonstrates differential roles for polynucleotide phosphorylase and RNase II in mRNA abundance and decay. Mol Microbiol 50:645-58
Ow, Maria C; Perwez, Tariq; Kushner, Sidney R (2003) RNase G of Escherichia coli exhibits only limited functional overlap with its essential homologue, RNase E. Mol Microbiol 49:607-22
Kushner, Sidney R (2002) mRNA decay in Escherichia coli comes of age. J Bacteriol 184:4658-65; discussion 4657
Ow, Maria C; Kushner, Sidney R (2002) Initiation of tRNA maturation by RNase E is essential for cell viability in E. coli. Genes Dev 16:1102-15
Mohanty, Bijoy K; Kushner, Sidney R (2002) Polyadenylation of Escherichia coli transcripts plays an integral role in regulating intracellular levels of polynucleotide phosphorylase and RNase E. Mol Microbiol 45:1315-24
Mohanty, B K; Kushner, S R (2000) Polynucleotide phosphorylase, RNase II and RNase E play different roles in the in vivo modulation of polyadenylation in Escherichia coli. Mol Microbiol 36:982-94

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