RNase III-CLASH of multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus reveals a regulatory mRNA 3′UTR required for intermediate vancomycin resistance

Daniel G. Mediati, Julia L. Wong, Wei Gao, Stuart Mckellar, Chi Nam Ignatius Pang, Sylvania Wu, Winton Wu, Brandon Sy, Ian R Monk, Joanna M. Biazik, Marc R. Wilkins, Benjamin P. Howden, Timothy P. Stinear, Sander Granneman, Jai J. Tree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections is dependent on the efficacy of last-line antibiotics including vancomycin. Treatment failure is commonly linked to isolates with intermediate vancomycin resistance (termed VISA). These isolates have accumulated point mutations that collectively reduce vancomycin sensitivity, often by thickening the cell wall. Changes in regulatory small RNA expression have been correlated with antibiotic stress in VISA isolates however the functions of most RNA regulators is unknown. Here we capture RNA–RNA interactions associated with RNase III using CLASH. RNase III-CLASH uncovers hundreds of novel RNA–RNA interactions in vivo allowing functional characterisation of many sRNAs for the first time. Surprisingly, many mRNA–mRNA interactions are recovered and we find that an mRNA encoding a long 3′ untranslated region (UTR) (termed vigR 3′UTR) functions as a regulatory ‘hub’ within the RNA–RNA interaction network. We demonstrate that the vigR 3′UTR promotes expression of folD and the cell wall lytic transglycosylase isaA through direct mRNA–mRNA base-pairing. Deletion of the vigR 3′UTR re-sensitised VISA to glycopeptide treatment and both isaA and vigR 3′UTR deletions impact cell wall thickness. Our results demonstrate the utility of RNase III-CLASH and indicate that S. aureus uses mRNA-mRNA interactions to co-ordinate gene expression more widely than previously appreciated.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3558
Number of pages15
JournalNature Communications
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2022

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