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Title: Characterization of 475 Novel, Putative Small RNAs (sRNAs) in Carbon-Starved Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium
An increasingly apparent role of noncoding RNA (ncRNAs) is to coordinate gene expression during environmental stress. A mounting body of evidence implicates small RNAs (sRNAs) as key drivers of Salmonella stress survival. Generally thought to be 50–500 nucleotides in length and to occur in intergenic regions, sRNAs typically regulate protein expression through base pairing with mRNA targets. In this work, through employing a refined definition of sRNAs allowing for shorter sequences and sRNA loci to overlap with annotated protein-coding gene loci, we have identified 475 previously unannotated sRNAs that are significantly differentially expressed during carbon starvation (C-starvation). Northern blotting and quantitative RT-PCRs confirm the expressions and identities of several of these novel sRNAs, and our computational analyses find the majority to be highly conserved and structurally related to known sRNAs. Importantly, we show that deletion of one of the sRNAs dynamically expressed during C-starvation, sRNA4130247, significantly impairs the Salmonella C-starvation response (CSR), confirming its involvement in the Salmonella CSR. In conclusion, the work presented here provides the first-ever characterization of intragenic sRNAs in Salmonella, experimentally confirms that sRNAs dynamically expressed during the CSR are directly involved in stress survival, and more than doubles the Salmonella enterica sRNAs described to date.  more » « less
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Neuwirth, Catherine
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National Science Foundation
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