Scientific article
Open access

The DEAD-box RNA helicase RhlE2 is a global regulator of Pseudomonas aeruginosa lifestyle and pathogenesis

Published inNucleic acids research, vol. 49, no. 12, p. 6925-6940
Publication date2021-07-09
First online date2021-06-21

RNA helicases perform essential housekeeping and regulatory functions in all domains of life by binding and unwinding RNA molecules. The bacterial RhlE-like DEAD-box RNA helicases are among the least well studied of these enzymes. They are widespread especially among Proteobacteria, whose genomes often encode multiple homologs. The significance of the expansion and diversification of RhlE-like proteins for bacterial fitness has not yet been established. Here, we study the two RhlE homologs present in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We show that, in the course of evolution, RhlE1 and RhlE2 have diverged in their biological functions, molecular partners and RNA-dependent enzymatic activities. Whereas RhlE1 is mainly needed for growth in the cold, RhlE2 also acts as global post-transcriptional regulator, affecting the level of hundreds of cellular transcripts indispensable for both environmental adaptation and virulence. The global impact of RhlE2 is mediated by its unique C-terminal extension, which supports the RNA unwinding activity of the N-terminal domain as well as an RNA-dependent interaction with the RNase E endonuclease and the cellular RNA degradation machinery. Overall, our work reveals how the functional and molecular divergence between two homologous RNA helicases can contribute to bacterial fitness and pathogenesis.

Citation (ISO format)
HAUSMANN, Stéphane et al. The DEAD-box RNA helicase RhlE2 is a global regulator of Pseudomonas aeruginosa lifestyle and pathogenesis. In: Nucleic acids research, 2021, vol. 49, n° 12, p. 6925–6940. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkab503
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ISSN of the journal0305-1048

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