The small protein SgrT controls transport activity of the glucose-specific phosphotransferase system

Chelsea R. Lloyd, Seongjin Park, Jingyi Fei, Carin K. Vanderpool

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The bacterial small RNA (sRNA) SgrS has been a fruitful model for discovery of novel RNA-based regulatory mechanisms and new facets of bacterial physiology and metabolism. SgrS is one of only a few characterized dual-function sRNAs. SgrS can control gene expression posttranscriptionally via sRNA-mRNA base-pairing interactions. Its second function is coding for the small protein SgrT. Previous work demonstrated that both functions contribute to relief of growth inhibition caused by glucose-phosphate stress, a condition characterized by disrupted glycolytic flux and accumulation of sugar phosphates. The base-pairing activity of SgrS has been the subject of numerous studies, but the activity of SgrT is less well characterized. Here, we provide evidence that SgrT acts to specifically inhibit the transport activity of the major glucose permease PtsG. Superresolution microscopy demonstrated that SgrT localizes to the cell membrane in a PtsG-dependent manner. Mutational analysis determined that residues in the N-terminal domain of PtsG are important for conferring sensitivity to SgrT-mediated inhibition of transport activity. Growth assays support a model in which SgrT-mediated inhibition of PtsG transport activity reduces accumulation of nonmetabolizable sugar phosphates and promotes utilization of alternative carbon sources by modulating carbon catabolite repression. The results of this study expand our understanding of a basic and well-studied biological problem, namely, how cells coordinate carbohydrate transport and metabolism. Further, this work highlights the complex activities that can be carried out by sRNAs and small proteins in bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00869-16
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Hfq
  • PTS
  • RNase E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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