Volume 8, Issue 6
Article number e64021
Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Streptococcus or GAS) is a Gram-positive bacterial pathogen that has shown complex modes of regulation of its virulence factors to cause diverse diseases. Bacterial small RNAs are regarded as novel widespread regulators of gene expression in response to environmental signals. Recent studies have revealed that several small RNAs (sRNAs) have an important role in S. pyogenes physiology and pathogenesis by regulating gene expression at the translational level. To search for new sRNAs in S. pyogenes, we performed a genomewide analysis through computational prediction followed by experimental verification. To overcome the limitation of low accuracy in computational prediction, we employed a combination of three different computational algorithms (sRNAPredict, eQRNA and RNAz). A total of 45 candidates were chosen based on the computational analysis, and their transcription was analyzed by reverse-transcriptase PCR and Northern blot. Through this process, we discovered 7 putative novel trans-acting sRNAs. Their abundance varied between different growth phases, suggesting that their expression is influenced by environmental or internal signals. Further, to screen target mRNAs of an sRNA, we employed differential RNA sequencing analysis. This study provides a significant resource for future study of small RNAs and their roles in physiology and pathogenesis of S. pyogenes.
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Tesorero, R.A., Yu, N., Wright, J.O., Svencionis, J.P., Cheng, Q, et al. (2013) Novel Regulatory Small RNAs in Streptococcus pyogenes. PLoS ONE 8(6): e64021.