FliW antagonizes CsrA RNA binding by a noncompetitive allosteric mechanism

Sampriti Mukherjee, Reid T. Oshiro, Helen Yakhnin, Paul Babitzke, Daniel B. Kearns

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22 Scopus citations


CsrA (carbon storage regulator A) is a widely distributed bacterial RNA binding protein that regulates translation initiation and mRNA stability of target transcripts. In γ-proteobacteria, CsrA activity is competitively antagonized by one or more small RNAs (sRNAs) containing multiple CsrA binding sites, but CsrA in bacteria outside the γ-proteobacteria is antagonized by a protein called FliW. Here we show that FliW of Bacillus subtilis does not bind to the same residues of CsrA required for RNA binding. Instead, CsrA mutants resistant to FliW antagonism (crw) altered residues of CsrA on an allosteric surface of previously unattributed function. Some crw mutants abolished CsrA-FliW binding, but others did not, suggesting that FliW and RNA interaction is not mutually exclusive. We conclude that FliW inhibits CsrA by a noncompetitive mechanism that differs dramatically from the well-established sRNA inhibitors. FliW is highly conserved with CsrA in bacteria, appears to be the ancestral form of CsrA regulation, and represents a widespread noncompetitive mechanism of CsrA control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9870-9875
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number35
StatePublished - Aug 30 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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