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Logo of bmcgenoBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Genomics
 
BMC Genomics. 2009; 10: 165.
Published online Apr 20, 2009. doi:  10.1186/1471-2164-10-165
PMCID: PMC2676305
Small noncoding RNA GcvB is a novel regulator of acid resistance in Escherichia coli
Ye Jin,1 Rory M Watt,2 Antoine Danchin,3 and Jian-dong Huangcorresponding author1
1Department of Biochemistry, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong SAR, PR China
2Oral Biosciences, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong SAR, PR China
3Genetics of Bacterial Genomes, CNRS URA2171, Institut Pasteur, 28, rue du Docteur Roux, Paris Cedex 15, 75724, France
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Ye Jin: yejin/at/hkucc.hku.hk; Rory M Watt: rmwatt/at/hku.hk; Antoine Danchin: antoine.danchin/at/normalesup.org; Jian-dong Huang: jdhuang/at/hkucc.hku.hk
Received January 26, 2009; Accepted April 20, 2009.
Abstract
Background
The low pH environment of the human stomach is lethal for most microorganisms; but not Escherichia coli, which can tolerate extreme acid stress. Acid resistance in E. coli is hierarchically controlled by numerous regulators among which are small noncoding RNAs (sncRNA).
Results
In this study, we individually deleted seventy-nine sncRNA genes from the E. coli K12-MG1655 chromosome, and established a single-sncRNA gene knockout library. By systematically screening the sncRNA mutant library, we show that the sncRNA GcvB is a novel regulator of acid resistance in E. coli. We demonstrate that GcvB enhances the ability of E. coli to survive low pH by upregulating the levels of the alternate sigma factor RpoS.
Conclusion
GcvB positively regulates acid resistance by affecting RpoS expression. These data advance our understanding of the sncRNA regulatory network involved in modulating acid resistance in E. coli.
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