Transcriptional analysis of Deinococcus radiodurans reveals novel small RNAs that are differentially expressed under ionizing radiation.

Research paper by Chen-Hsun CH Tsai, Rick R Liao, Brendan B Chou, Lydia M LM Contreras

Indexed on: 31 Dec '14Published on: 31 Dec '14Published in: Applied and environmental microbiology


Small noncoding RNAs (sRNAs) are posttranscriptional regulators that have been identified in multiple species and shown to play essential roles in responsive mechanisms to environmental stresses. The natural ability of specific bacteria to resist high levels of radiation has been of high interest to mechanistic studies of DNA repair and biomolecular protection. Deinococcus radiodurans is a model extremophile for radiation studies that can survive doses of ionizing radiation of >12,000 Gy, 3,000 times higher than for most vertebrates. Few studies have investigated posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms of this organism that could be relevant in its general gene regulatory patterns. In this study, we identified 199 potential sRNA candidates in D. radiodurans by whole-transcriptome deep sequencing analysis and confirmed the expression of 41 sRNAs by Northern blotting and reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR). A total of 8 confirmed sRNAs showed differential expression during recovery after acute ionizing radiation (15 kGy). We have also found and confirmed 7 sRNAs in Deinococcus geothermalis, a closely related radioresistant species. The identification of several novel sRNAs in Deinococcus bacteria raises important questions about the evolution and nature of global gene regulation in radioresistance.