The RNA chaperone Hfq is a conserved RNA-binding protein (RBP) widespread in Gram-negative
and Gram-positive bacteria. Remarkably, inactivation of Hfq causes the strong attenuation of
virulence in the human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. However, the mechanisms underlying
such phenotype are largely unknown.
The transcriptome and the translatome of Hfq will be analysed, to get the most comprehensive
evaluation of the impact of this RBP in Listeria. Selected candidate genes under control of Hfq will
then be evaluated for their potential to contribute for pathogenicity. This will include small noncoding
RNAs (ncRNAs), as Hfq acts as post-transcriptional regulator of ncRNAs in many bacteria.
However, this function is controversial for Hfq in Listeria. We propose to revisit Hfq association to
ncRNAs and to test alternative functions of Hfq. The strategies defined herein have the potential to
identify new functions for this virulence regulator and to elucidate novel regulatory pathways
governing bacterial virulence.
Dos Santos, R. F., Quendera A.P., Boavida S., Seixas A.F., Arraiano CM., Andrade JM,. Major 3?–5? Exoribonucleases in the Metabolism of Coding and Non-coding RNA. Prog. Mol. Biol. Transl. Sci. 159, 101–155 (2018).
Quendera A.P., Seixas A.F., dos Santos, R.F., Santos, I., Silva J.P., Arraiano C.M., Andrade, J.M,. RNA-binding proteins driving the regulatory activity of small non-coding RNAs in bacteria. Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences (in submission).
8th Workshop, February, 2020
Seixas, A.F.; Quendera, A.P.; dos Santos, R.; Silva, J.P.N; Arraiano, C. M. and Andrade, J.M.; Elusive roles of an RNA chaperone in the membrane damage stress response. Microbiotec19, December, Coimbra (poster communication)