A SUBSET OF 3´ TO 5´ EXORIBONUCLEASES ARE THE PRIMARY ENZYMES RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEGRADATION OF PGPG IN CYCLIC DI-GMP SIGNALING
Lee, Vincent T
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Bis-(3´-5´)-cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate, or cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) is a ubiquitous bacterial second messenger that regulates processes such biofilm formation, motility, and virulence. C-di-GMP is synthesized by diguanylate cyclases (DGCs), while phosphodiesterases (PDE-As) end signaling by linearizing c-di-GMP to 5ʹ-phosphoguanylyl-(3ʹ,5ʹ)-guanosine (pGpG), which is then hydrolyzed to two GMPs by previously unidentified enzymes termed PDE-Bs. To identify the PDE-B responsible for pGpG turnover, a screen for pGpG binding proteins in a Vibrio cholerae open reading frame library was conducted to identify potential pGpG binding proteins. This screen led to identification of oligoribonuclease (Orn). Purified Orn binds to pGpG and can cleave pGpG to GMP in vitro. A deletion mutant of orn in Pseudomonas aeruginosa was highly defective in pGpG turnover and accumulated pGpG. Deletion of orn also resulted in accumulation c-di-GMP, likely through pGpG-mediated inhibition of the PDE-As, causing an increase in c-di-GMP-governed auto-aggregation and biofilm. Thus, we found that Orn serves as the primary PDE-B enzyme in P. aeruginosa that removes pGpG, which is necessary to complete the final step in the c-di-GMP degradation pathway. However, not all bacteria that utilize c-di-GMP signaling also have an ortholog of orn, suggesting that other PDE-Bs must be present. Therefore, we asked whether RNases that cleave small oligoribonucleotides in other species could also act as PDE-Bs. NrnA, NrnB, and NrnC can rapidly degrade pGpG to GMP. Furthermore, they can reduce the elevated aggregation and biofilm formation in P. aeruginosa ∆orn. Together, these results indicate that rather than having a single dedicated PDE-B, different bacteria utilize distinct RNases to cleave pGpG and complete c-di-GMP signaling. The ∆orn strain also has a growth defect, indicating changes in other regulatory processes that could be due to pGpG accumulation, c-di-GMP accumulation, or another effect due to loss of Orn. We sought to investigate the genetic pathways responsible for these growth defect phenotypes by use of a transposon suppressor screen, and also investigated transcriptional changes using RNA-Seq. This work identifies that c-di-GMP degradation intersects with RNA degradation at the point of the Orn and the functionally related RNases.