Autogenous regulation of Escherichia coli polynucleotide phosphorylase during cold acclimation by transcription termination and antitermination
Marchi, P.; Longhi, V.; Zangrossi, S.; Gaetani, E.; Briani, F.; Dehò, G.
Molecular Genetics and Genomics Mgg 278(1): 75-84
Adaptation of Escherichia coli at low temperature implicates a drastic reprogramming of gene expression patterns. Mechanisms operating downstream of transcription initiation, such as control of transcription termination, mRNA stability and translatability, play a major role in controlling gene expression in the cold acclimation phase. It was previously shown that Rho-dependent transcription termination within pnp, the gene encoding polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase), was suppressed in pnp nonsense mutants, whereas it was restored by complementation with wild type allele. Using a tRNA gene as a reporter and the strong Rho-dependent transcription terminator t ( imm ) of bacteriophage P4 as a tester, here we show that specific sites in the 5'-untranslated region of pnp mRNA are required for PNPase-sensitive cold-induced suppression of Rho-dependent transcription termination. We suggest that suppression of Rho-dependent transcription termination within pnp and its restoration by PNPase is an autogenous regulatory circuit that modulates pnp expression during cold acclimation.