Regulation of gene expression and metabolism in bacteria

FRojo

 

Fernando Rojo

Group Leader

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Research summary

Our aim is to characterize the global regulation networks responsible for catabolite repression, identifying their components, the signals to which they respond, and the molecular mechanisms by which they regulate gene expression. The regulatory proteins involved in these networks are different in distinct microorganisms.

 

Publications

 Hernández-Arranz S, Sánchez-Hevia D, Rojo F, Moreno R. Effect of Crc and Hfq proteins on the transcription, processing and stability of the Pseudomonas putida CrcZ sRNA. RNA 2016; 22: 1902-1917

La Rosa R, Behrends V, Williams HD, Bundy JG, Rojo F. Influence of the Crc regulator on the hierarchical use of carbon sources from a complete medium in Pseudomonas. Environ Microbiol 2016; 18: 807-818

Sevilla E, Yuste L, Rojo F. Marine hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria as whole-cell biosensors for n-alkanes. Microb Biotechnol 2015; 8: 693-706

La Rosa R, Nogales J, Rojo F. The Crc/CrcZ-CrcY global regulatory system helps the integration of gluconeogenic and glycolytic metabolism in Pseudomonas putida. Environ Microbiol 2015; 17: 3362-3378

Moreno R, Hernández-Arranz S, La Rosa R, Yuste L, Madhushani A, Shingler V, Rojo F. The Crc and Hfq proteins of Pseudomonas putida co-operate in catabolite repression and formation of ribonucleic acid complexes with specific target motifs. Environ Microbiol 2015; 17: 105-118

More Publications

 

To be competitive in the environments they colonize, bacteria must optimize metabolism to attain maximum gain from available nutrients at minimum energetic cost. Not all potential carbon sources are equally effective in this respect. Probably for this reason, when confronted with a mixture of potentially assimilable compounds at sufficient concentrations, many bacteria preferentially use one of them, leaving others aside until the preferred compound is consumed. This selection implies a complex regulatory process termed catabolite repression. Unravelling the molecular mechanisms that underlie these regulatory events helps us comprehend how bacteria coordinate their metabolism and gene expression programmes and optimize growth. It also aids in the design and optimization of biotechnological processes, and to understand how bacteria degrade compounds in nature.

This is particularly true for compounds that are difficult to degrade and thus accumulate in the environment, posing pollution problems. Hydrocarbons are a clear example of this kind of non-preferred compounds. The regulatory proteins and molecular mechanisms responsible for catabolite repression differ among microorganisms. Our work focuses on Pseudomonas putida, a bacterium that has a very versatile metabolism, colonizes very diverse habitats, and is widely used in biotechnology. In the last few years, we have been analysing a regulatory network that relies on the Crc and Hfq proteins, which ultimately inhibit translation of mRNAs containing a specific A-rich sequence motif within their translation initiation region. Two small RNAs termed CrcZ and CrcY, the levels of which vary greatly depending on growth conditions, antagonize the inhibitory effect of Hfq and Crc. We aim to characterize the influence of Crc, Hfq, CrcZ and CrcY on P. putida physiology, the signals to which they respond, and the molecular mechanisms by which they regulate gene expression. We intend to determine how they modulate metabolism in response to fluctuating environmental conditions.

 

Fig2Rojo

 

 

grupoRojoRed2 

Name
Position
Contact
Fernando Rojo Principal investigator
Renata Moreno Senior scientist
Sofía Hernández Postdoctoral scientist
Ruggero La Rosa Predoctoral scientist
Dione Sánchez Predoctoral scientist
Luis Yuste Technicians

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