Yersinia spp. use a type 3 secretion system (T3SS) to directly inject six proteins into macrophages, and any impairment of this process results in a profound reduction in virulence. We previously showed that the exoribonuclease polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase) was required for optimal T3SS functioning in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia pestis. Here we report that Y. pseudotuberculosis cells with reduced RNase E activity are likewise impaired in T3SS functioning and that phenotypically they resemble Apnp cells. RNase E does not affect expression levels of the T3SS substrates but instead, like PNPase, regulates a terminal event in the secretion pathway. This similarity, together with the fact that RNase E and PNPase can be readily copurified from Y. pseudotuberculosis cell extracts, suggests that these two RNases regulate T3SS activity through a common mechanism. This is the first report that RNase E activity impacts the T3SS as well as playing a more general role in infectivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology