tmRNA is required for correct timing of DNA replication in Caulobacter crescentus

Kenneth C. Keiler, Lucy Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


SsrA, or tmRNA, is a small RNA that interacts with selected translating ribosomes to target the nascent polypeptides for degradation. Here we report that SsrA activity is required for normal timing of the G1-to-S transition in Caulobacter crescentus. A deletion of the ssrA gene, or of the gene encoding SmpB, a protein required for SsrA activity, results in a specific delay in the cell cycle during the G1-to-S transition. The ssrA deletion phenotype is not due to accumulation of stalled ribosomes, because the deletion is not complemented by a mutated version of SsrA that releases ribosomes but does not target proteins for degradation. Degradation of the CtrA response regulator normally coincides with initiation of DNA replication, but in strains lacking SsrA activity there is a 40-min delay between the degradation of CtrA and replication initiation. This uncoupling of initiation of replication from CtrA degradation indicates that there is an SsrA-dependent pathway required for correct timing of DNA replication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-580
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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