Chris Lin Rose Hills
sRNA and mRNA Localizations in E. coli
Bacterial survival depends on the cells ability to adapt to diverse environmental pressures. Many of these adaptive pathways involve small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) that bind to the 5 untranslated region of their target messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Depending on the sRNA, the interaction between sRNA and mRNA either silences or activates mRNA translation. Although sRNAs are important regulators of gene expression, their signaling properties and regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. Identifying the localization of sRNAs, their target mRNAs, and their site of interaction is key to gaining new insights into bacterial gene regulation.
Therefore, in the proposed study, I will first seek to characterize the localization of several sRNAs and their target mRNAs in the model bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli). Second, I will test whether the protein Hfq, known to facilitate sRNA function by binding both the sRNA and mRNA, has an effect on their localizations. To visualize the sRNAs and mRNAs, I will use microscopy and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH).