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Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 41  |  Issue: 9  |  Page No.: 719 - 730

Post-transcriptional regulation of NifA expression by Hfq and RNase E complex in Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae

Y Zhang and G. Hong    

Abstract:

NifA is the general transcriptional activator of nitrogen fixation genes in diazotrophic bacteria. In Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae strain 8401/pRL1JI, the NifA gene is part of a gene cluster (fixABCXNifAB). In this study, results showed that in R. leguminosarum bv. viciae 8401/pRL1JI, host factor required (Hfq), and RNase E were involved in the post-transcriptional regulation of NifA expression. It was found that Hfq-dependent RNase E cleavage of NifA mRNA was essential for NifA translation. The cleavage site is located at 32 nucleotides upstream of the NifA translational start codon. A possible explanation based on predicted RNA secondary structure of the NifA 5'-untranslated region was that the cleavage made ribosome-binding sites accessible for translation.

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