Dual-function RNAs

Medha Raina, Alisa King, Colleen Bianco, Carin K. Vanderpool

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bacteria are known to use RNA, either as mRNAs encoding proteins or as noncoding small RNAs (sRNAs), to regulate numerous biological processes. However, a few sRNAs have two functions: they act as base-pairing RNAs and encode a small protein with additional regulatory functions. Thus, these so called "dual-function" sRNAs can serve as both a riboregulator and an mRNA. In some cases, these two functions can act independently within the same pathway, while in other cases, the base-pairing function and protein function act in different pathways. Here, we discuss the five known dual-function sRNAs-SgrS from enteric species, RNAIII and Psm-mec from Staphylococcus aureus, Pel RNA from Streptococcus pyogenes, and SR1 from Bacillus subtilis-and review their mechanisms of action and roles in regulating diverse biological processes. We also discuss the prospect of finding additional dual-function sRNAs and future challenges in studying the overlap and competition between the functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberRWR-0032-2018
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Dual-function RNAs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this