Microbiology. 2015 Apr;161(Pt 4):719-28.

Transcription and translation of the rpsJ, rplN and rRNA operons of the tubercle bacillus.

Cortes T1, Cox RA2.
  • 1Division of Mycobacterial Research and Division of Mathematical Biology, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, NW7 1AA, UK.
  • 2Division of Mycobacterial Research and Division of Mathematical Biology, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, NW7 1AA, UK rcox@nimr.mrc.ac.uk.

 

Abstract

Several species of the genus Mycobacterium are human pathogens, notably the tubercle bacillus (Mycobacterium tuberculosis). The rate of proliferation of a bacterium is reflected in the rate of ribosome synthesis. This report describes a quantitative analysis of the early stages of the synthesis of ribosomes of M. tuberculosis. Specifically, the roles of three large operons, namely: the rrn operon (1.7 microns) encoding rrs (16S rRNA), rrl (23S rRNA) and rrf (5S rRNA); the rpsJ operon (1.93 microns), which encodes 11 ribosomal proteins; and the rplN operon (1.45 microns), which encodes 10 ribosomal proteins. A mathematical framework based on properties of population-average cells was developed to identify the number of transcripts of the rpsJ and rplN operons needed to maintain exponential growth. The values obtained were supported by RNaseq data. The motif 5′-gcagac-3′ was found close to 5′ end of transcripts of mycobacterial rplN operons, suggesting it may form part of the RpsH feedback binding site because the same motif is present in the ribosome within the region of rrs that forms the binding site for RpsH.

PMID: 25627442

 

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