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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Retroregulation of the synthesis of ribosomal proteins L14 and L24 by feedback repressor S8 in Escherichia coli.

Previous studies on regulation of the spc operon containing genes for ribosomal proteins have shown that S8, encoded by the fifth gene of the operon in Escherichia coli, is a translational repressor and regulates the synthesis of the third gene product (L5) and distal gene products by acting at a site near the L5 mRNA translation initiation site. We have now shown that S8 also regulates the synthesis of the first and second gene products (L14 and L24) of the operon by acting at the same mRNA target site--that is, the site located distal to sites coding for L14 and L24--and that mRNA degradation is involved in this retroregulation. It was shown that single base substitutions in the target site, which abolish repression of the synthesis of L5 and L5-distal gene products by S8, also cause derepression of L14-L24 synthesis. Inhibition of L14-L24 synthesis by S8 was also shown by overproducing S8 in trans from a plasmid carrying the S8 gene under lac promoter/operator control. A strain carrying temperature-sensitive mutations in genes for polynucleotide phosphorylase and RNase II was found upon shift to nonpermissive temperature to show higher differential synthesis rates of L14-L24 (and L5) relative to those of several L5-distal spc operon gene products. We suggest that repression of distal ribosomal protein synthesis by S8 triggers nucleolytic cleavage of spc operon mRNA, followed by mRNA degradation by these 3'- to 5'- exonucleases, which is then responsible for inhibition of L14-L24 synthesis.[1]


  1. Retroregulation of the synthesis of ribosomal proteins L14 and L24 by feedback repressor S8 in Escherichia coli. Mattheakis, L., Vu, L., Sor, F., Nomura, M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1989) [Pubmed]
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