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Structural and sequence requirements for the antisense RNA regulating replication of staphylococcal multiresistance plasmid pSK41
- Kwong, Stephen M., Firth, Neville
- Plasmid 2015 v.78 pp. 17-25
- Northern blotting, Staphylococcus aureus, antisense RNA, messenger RNA, models, plasmids
- pSK41 is a prototypical 46-kb conjugative multiresistance plasmid of Staphylococcus aureus. The pSK41 replication initiation protein (Rep) is rate-limiting for plasmid replication, and its expression is negatively regulated by a small, non-coding antisense transcript, RNAI, that is complementary to the rep mRNA leader region. In this study, enzymatic probing was used to verify the predicted secondary structures of RNAI and its target RNA. We demonstrated that two stem–loop structures of RNAI, SLRNAI-II and SLRNAI-III, were important for inhibition. A putative U-turn motif detected in the loop of SLrep-I (5′-UUGG-3′) was analysed for its significance to RNAI-mediated inhibition in vivo and Northern blotting suggested that rep mRNA was processed. Taken together, these observations support our previously proposed model but also raise new questions about the replication control mechanism.