The Escherichia coli mrsC gene is required for cell growth and mRNA decay

Laurie L. Granger, Eileen B. O'Hara, Rong Fu Wang, Frances V. Meffen, Katherine Armstrong, Stephanie D. Yancey, Paul Babitzke, Sidney R. Kushner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We have identified a gene in Escherichia coli that is required for both the normal decay of mRNA and RNA synthesis. Originally designated mrsC (mRNA stability), the mrsC505 mutation described here is, in fact, an allele of the hfiB/ftsH locus (R.-F. Wang et al., J. Bacteriol. 180:1929-1938, 1998). Strains carrying the thermosensitive mrsC505 allele stopped wowing soon after the temperature was shifted to 44°C but remained viable for several hours. Net RNA synthesis stopped within 20 min after the shift, while DNA and protein synthesis continued for over 60 min. At 44°C, the half-life of total pulse-labeled RNA rose from 2.9 min in a wild-type strain to 5.9 min in the mrsC505 single mutant. In an rne-1 mrsC505 double mutant, the average half- life was 19.8 min. Inactivating mrsC significantly increased the half-lives of the trxA, cat, secG, and kan mRNAs, particularly in an mrsC505 pnp-7 rnb- 500 rne-1 multiple mutant. In addition, Northern analysis showed dramatic stabilizations of full-length mRNAs in a variety of mrsC505 multiple mutants at 44°C. These results suggest that MrsC, directly or indirectly, controls endonucleolytic processing of mRNAs that may be independent of the RNase E- PNPase-RhlB multiprotein complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1920-1928
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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