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Gene Review

pnp  -  polynucleotide phosphorylase/polyadenylase

Escherichia coli str. K-12 substr. MG1655

Synonyms: ECK3152, JW5851, bfl
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Disease relevance of pnp

  • Thus, as is the case in Escherichia coli, the read-through transcript from rpsO-pnp is cleaved by RNase IIIS in S. coelicolor [1].
  • The absB gene encodes a double strand-specific endoribonuclease that cleaves the read-through transcript of the rpsO-pnp operon in Streptomyces coelicolor [1].
  • The hypersensitivity due to the insertion was only partially complemented by a cloned pnp gene [2].

High impact information on pnp

  • Some of the transcripts of the pnp gene terminate just after the stem of the terminator t2 visible in the nucleotide sequence [3].
  • Translation of pnp is initiated by 5'-UUG-3' codon separated by 7 nucleotides from a good ribosome binding site [3].
  • Here, we show that the half-lives of both the pnp and rne transcripts are dependent on the intracellular level of polyadenylated transcripts [4].
  • This difference is striking, as both mRNAs are greatly stabilized upon the shift to 15 degrees C. However, unlike the lacZ(+) mRNA, which remains stable during adaptation, pnp mRNA decay accelerates [5].
  • The bulk of induction results from reversal of autoregulation at a step subsequent to RNase III cleavage of the pnp leader [5].

Biological context of pnp


Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of pnp

  • Restriction mapping of the positions of the Tn5 insertions and analysis of plasmid-encoded polypeptides in UV-irradiated maxi-cells indicated that the pnp gene is oriented in the counterclockwise direction on the bacterial chromosome [9].


  1. The absB gene encodes a double strand-specific endoribonuclease that cleaves the read-through transcript of the rpsO-pnp operon in Streptomyces coelicolor. Chang, S.A., Bralley, P., Jones, G.H. J. Biol. Chem. (2005) [Pubmed]
  2. Tn5 insertion in the polynucleotide phosphorylase (pnp) gene in Escherichia coli increases susceptibility to antibiotics. McMurry, L.M., Levy, S.B. J. Bacteriol. (1987) [Pubmed]
  3. Nucleotide sequence of the pnp gene of Escherichia coli encoding polynucleotide phosphorylase. Homology of the primary structure of the protein with the RNA-binding domain of ribosomal protein S1. Régnier, P., Grunberg-Manago, M., Portier, C. J. Biol. Chem. (1987) [Pubmed]
  4. Polyadenylation of Escherichia coli transcripts plays an integral role in regulating intracellular levels of polynucleotide phosphorylase and RNase E. Mohanty, B.K., Kushner, S.R. Mol. Microbiol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  5. Cold-temperature induction of Escherichia coli polynucleotide phosphorylase occurs by reversal of its autoregulation. Beran, R.K., Simons, R.W. Mol. Microbiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  6. Expression of the rpsO and pnp genes: structural analysis of a DNA fragment carrying their control regions. Portier, C., Regnier, P. Nucleic Acids Res. (1984) [Pubmed]
  7. Promoter activity and transcript mapping in the regulatory region for genes encoding ribosomal protein S15 and polynucleotide phosphorylase of Escherichia coli. Evans, S., Dennis, P.P. Gene (1985) [Pubmed]
  8. Organization and expression of the polynucleotide phosphorylase gene (pnp) of Streptomyces: Processing of pnp transcripts in Streptomyces antibioticus. Bralley, P., Jones, G.H. J. Bacteriol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  9. Cloning and orientation of the gene encoding polynucleotide phosphorylase in Escherichia coli. Crofton, S., Dennis, P.P. J. Bacteriol. (1983) [Pubmed]
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