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RNA-binding proteins in bacteria

Nature Reviews Microbiologyvolume 16pages601615 (2018) | Download Citation


RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are central to most if not all cellular processes, dictating the fate of virtually all RNA molecules in the cell. Starting with pioneering work on ribosomal proteins, studies of bacterial RBPs have paved the way for molecular studies of RNA–protein interactions. Work over the years has identified major RBPs that act on cellular transcripts at the various stages of bacterial gene expression and that enable their integration into post-transcriptional networks that also comprise small non-coding RNAs. Bacterial RBP research has now entered a new era in which RNA sequencing-based methods permit mapping of RBP activity in a truly global manner in vivo. Moreover, the soaring interest in understudied members of host-associated microbiota and environmental communities is likely to unveil new RBPs and to greatly expand our knowledge of RNA–protein interactions in bacteria.

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The authors thank C. Beisel, Y. Chao, K. Papenfort and G. Wagner for comments on the manuscript. J.V. is supported by a DFG Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Award (Vo875/20). E.H. is supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundations, the Swedish Research Council (2016–03656) and the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (ICA 16–0021).

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Nature Reviews Microbiology thanks M. Hentze, B. Luisi and E. Nudler for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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  1. Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Biomedical Center, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

    • Erik Holmqvist
  2. Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI), Würzburg, Germany

    • Jörg Vogel
  3. Institute of Molecular Infection Biology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany

    • Jörg Vogel


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E.H. and J.V. researched data for the article, made substantial contributions to discussions of the content, wrote the article and reviewed and/or edited the manuscript before submission.

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Correspondence to Jörg Vogel.

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