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The low-resolution solution structure of Vibrio cholerae Hfq in complex with Qrr1 sRNA

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In Vibrio cholerae, the RNA binding protein and chaperone Hfq (VcHfq) facilitates the pairing of the quorum regulatory RNA (Qrr) small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) to the 5′ untranslated regions of the mRNAs for a number of global regulators that modulate the expression of virulence genes. This Qrr-mediated sRNA circuit is an attractive antimicrobial target, but characterization at the molecular level is required for this to be realized. Here, we investigate the interactions between VcHfq and the Qrr sRNAs using a variety of biochemical and biophysical techniques. We show that the ring-shaped VcHfq hexamer binds the Qrrs with 1:1 stoichiometry through its proximal face, and the molecular envelope of the VcHfq-Qrr complex is experimentally determined from small angle scattering data to present the first structural glimpse of a Hfq-sRNA complex. This structure reveals that the VcHfq protein does not change shape on complex formation but the RNA does, suggesting that a chaperone role for VcHfq is a critical part of the VcHfq-Qrr interaction. Overall, these studies enhance our understanding of VcHfq-Qrr interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8698-8710
Number of pages13
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Volume40
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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