sRNA-mediated control in bacteria: An increasing diversity of regulatory mechanisms

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Small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) act as post-transcriptional regulators controlling bacterial adaptation to environmental changes. Our current understanding of the mechanisms underlying sRNA-mediated control is mainly based on studies in Escherichia coli and Salmonella. Ever since the discovery of sRNAs decades ago, these Gram-negative species have served as excellent model organisms in the field of sRNA biology. More recently, the role of sRNAs in gene regulation has become the center of attention in a broader range of species, including Gram-positive model organisms. Here, we highlight some of the most apparent similarities and differences between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria with respect to the mechanisms underlying sRNA-mediated control. Although key aspects of sRNA regulation appear to be highly conserved, novel themes are arising from studies in Gram-positive species, such as a clear abundance of sRNAs acting through multiple C-rich motifs, and an apparent lack of RNA-binding proteins with chaperone activity. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: RNA and gene control in bacteria edited by Dr. M. Guillier and F. Repoila.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBBA Gene Regulatory Mechanisms
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)194504
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Post-transcriptional regulation
  • RNA chaperones
  • RNA-binding proteins
  • Small regulatory RNAs
  • sRNA-mRNA interactions
  • sRNA-mediated control


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