Nucleic acids research

Insights into the regulation of small RNA expression: SarA represses the expression of two sRNAs in Staphylococcus aureus.

PMID 27596601


The opportunistic pathogen Staphylococcus aureus expresses transcription factors (TFs) and regulatory small RNAs (sRNAs) which are essential for bacterial adaptation and infectivity. Until recently, the study of S. aureus sRNA gene expression regulation was under investigated, but it is now an expanding field. Here we address the regulation of Srn_3610_SprC sRNA, an attenuator of S. aureus virulence. We demonstrate that SarA TF represses srn_3610_sprC transcription. DNase I footprinting and deletion analyses show that the SarA binding site on srn_3610_sprC belongs to an essential 22 bp DNA region. Comparative analysis also revealed another possible site, this time in the srn_9340 promoter. SarA specifically binds these two sRNA promoters with high affinity in vitro and also represses their transcription in vivo Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays confirmed SarA attachment to both promoters. ChIP and electrophoretic mobility shift assays targeting σ