Effect of RyhB small RNA on global iron use in Escherichia coli

Eric Massé, Carin K. Vanderpool, Susan Gottesman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


RyhB is a noncoding RNA regulated by the Fur repressor. It has previously been shown to cause the rapid degradation of a number of mRNAs that encode proteins that utilize iron. Here we examine the effect of ectopic RyhB production on global gene expression by microarray analysis. Many of the previously identified targets were found, as well as other mRNAs encoding iron-binding proteins, bringing the total number of regulated operons to at least 18, encoding 56 genes. The two major operons involved in Fe-S cluster assembly showed different behavior; the isc operon appears to be a direct target of RyhB action, while the suf operon does not. This is consistent with previous findings suggesting that the suf genes but not the isc genes are important for Fe-S cluster synthesis under iron-limiting conditions, presumably for essential iron-binding proteins. In addition, we observed repression of Fur-regulated genes upon RyhB expression, interpreted as due to intracellular iron sparing resulting from reduced synthesis of iron-binding proteins. Our results demonstrate the broad effects of a single noncoding RNA on iron homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6962-6971
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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