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Intrinsically disordered regions regulate RhlE RNA helicase functions in bacteria

Published inNucleic acids research, gkae511
Publication date2024-06-14
First online date2024-06-14
Abstract

RNA helicases—central enzymes in RNA metabolism—often feature intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) that enable phase separation and complex molecular interactions. In the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the non-redundant RhlE1 and RhlE2 RNA helicases share a conserved REC catalytic core but differ in C-terminal IDRs. Here, we show how the IDR diversity defines RhlE RNA helicase specificity of function. Both IDRs facilitate RNA binding and phase separation, localizing proteins in cytoplasmic clusters. However, RhlE2 IDR is more efficient in enhancing REC core RNA unwinding, exhibits a greater tendency for phase separation, and interacts with the RNase E endonuclease, a crucial player in mRNA degradation. Swapping IDRs results in chimeric proteins that are biochemically active but functionally distinct as compared to their native counterparts. The RECRhlE1-IDRRhlE2 chimera improves cold growth of a rhlE1 mutant, gains interaction with RNase E and affects a subset of both RhlE1 and RhlE2 RNA targets. The RECRhlE2-IDRRhlE1 chimera instead hampers bacterial growth at low temperatures in the absence of RhlE1, with its detrimental effect linked to aberrant RNA droplets. By showing that IDRs modulate both protein core activities and subcellular localization, our study defines the impact of IDR diversity on the functional differentiation of RNA helicases.

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Citation (ISO format)
HAUSMANN, Stéphane et al. Intrinsically disordered regions regulate RhlE RNA helicase functions in bacteria. In: Nucleic acids research, 2024, p. gkae511. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkae511
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ISSN of the journal0305-1048
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