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Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology

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RNA -- analysis, Gene expression, RNA, Ribosomes


Regulatory RNAs contribute to gene expression control in bacteria. Antisense RNAs (asRNA) are a class of regulatory RNAs that are transcribed from opposite strands of their target genes. Typically, these untranslated transcripts bind to cognate mRNAs and rapidly regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. In this article, we review asRNAs that modulate bacterial fitness and increase virulence. We chose examples that underscore the variety observed in nature including, plasmid- and chromosome-encoded asRNAs, a riboswitch-regulated as RNA, and as RNAs that require other RNAs or RNA binding proteins for stability and activity. We explore how as RNAs improve bacterial fitness and virulence by modulating plasmid acquisition and maintenance, regulating transposon mobility, increasing resistance against bacteriophages, controlling flagellar production, and regulating nutrient acquisition. We conclude with a brief discussion on how this knowledge is helping to inform current efforts to develop new therapeutics.


Copyright © 2021 Millar and Raghavan. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms



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