Non-coding RNA regulation in pathogenic bacteria located inside eukaryotic cells

Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 2014;4 DOI 10.3389/fcimb.2014.00162


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Journal Title: Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology

ISSN: 2235-2988 (Online)

Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.

LCC Subject Category: Science: Microbiology

Country of publisher: Switzerland

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML



Álvaro D. Ortega (Centro Nacional de Biotecnología-CSIC)
Juan José eQuereda (Centro Nacional de Biotecnología-CSIC)
M. Graciela ePucciarelli (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Francisco eGarcía-Del Portillo (Centro Nacional de Biotecnología-CSIC)


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 14 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Intracellular bacterial pathogens have evolved distinct lifestyles inside eukaryotic cells. Some pathogens coexist with the infected cell in an obligate intracellular state, whereas others transit between the extracellular and intracellular environment. Adaptation to these intracellular lifestyles is regulated in both space and time. Non-coding small RNAs (sRNAs) are post-transcriptional regulatory molecules that fine-tune important processes in bacterial physiology including cell envelope architecture, intermediate metabolism, bacterial communication, biofilm formation and virulence. Recent studies have shown production of defined sRNA species by intracellular bacteria located inside eukaryotic cells. The molecules targeted by these sRNAs and their expression dynamics along the intracellular infection cycle remain, however, poorly characterized. Technical difficulties linked to the isolation of ‘intact’ intracellular bacteria from infected host cells might explain why sRNA regulation in these specialized pathogens is still a largely unexplored field. Transition from the extracellular to the intracellular lifestyle provides an ideal scenario in which regulatory sRNAs are intended to participate; so much work must be done in this direction. This review focuses on sRNAs expressed by intracellular bacterial pathogens during the infection of eukaryotic cells, strategies used with these pathogens to identify sRNAs required for virulence, and the experimental technical challenges associated to this type of studies. We also discuss varied techniques for their potential application to study RNA regulation in intracellular bacterial infections.