Molecular call and response: The physiology of bacterial small RNAs

Gregory R. Richards, Carin K. Vanderpool

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The vital role of bacterial small RNAs (sRNAs) in cellular regulation is now well-established. Although many diverse mechanisms by which sRNAs bring about changes in gene expression have been thoroughly described, comparatively less is known about their biological roles and effects on cell physiology. Nevertheless, for some sRNAs, insight has been gained into the intricate regulatory interplay that is required to sense external environmental and internal metabolic cues and turn them into physiological outcomes. Here, we review examples of regulation by selected sRNAs, emphasizing signals and regulators required for sRNA expression, sRNA regulatory targets, and the resulting consequences for the cell. We highlight sRNAs involved in regulation of the processes of iron homeostasis (RyhB, PrrF, and FsrA) and carbon metabolism (Spot 42, CyaR, and SgrS).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-531
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • CyaR
  • RyhB
  • SgrS
  • Small RNA
  • Spot 42

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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