RNase G of Escherichia coli exhibits only limited functional overlap with its essential homologue, RNase E

Mol Microbiol. 2003 Aug;49(3):607-22. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.2003.03587.x.


RNase G (rng) is an E. coli endoribonuclease that is homologous to the catalytic domain of RNase E (rne), an essential protein that is a major participant in tRNA maturation, mRNA decay, rRNA processing and M1 RNA processing. We demonstrate here that whereas RNase G inefficiently participates in the degradation of mRNAs and the processing of 9S rRNA, it is not involved in either tRNA or M1 RNA processing. This conclusion is supported by the fact that inactivation of RNase G alone does not affect 9S rRNA processing and only leads to minor changes in mRNA half-lives. However, in rng rne double mutants mRNA decay and 9S rRNA processing are more defective than in either single mutant. Conversely, increasing RNase G levels in an rne-1 rng::cat double mutant, proportionally increased the extent of 9S rRNA processing and decreased the half-lives of specific mRNAs. In contrast, variations in the amount of RNase G did not alter tRNA processing under any circumstances. Thus, the failure of RNase G to complement rne mutations, even when overproduced at high levels, apparently results from its inability to substitute for RNase E in the maturation of tRNAs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Endoribonucleases / chemistry
  • Endoribonucleases / genetics
  • Endoribonucleases / metabolism
  • Endoribonucleases / physiology*
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / chemistry
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / physiology*
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Half-Life
  • Protein Subunits
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • RNA, Bacterial / metabolism*
  • RNA, Catalytic / genetics
  • RNA, Catalytic / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Ribosomal / metabolism
  • RNA, Transfer / metabolism
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / physiology
  • Ribonuclease P
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Protein Subunits
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Catalytic
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • RNA, Transfer
  • Endoribonucleases
  • rng protein, E coli
  • Ribonuclease P
  • ribonuclease P, E coli
  • ribonuclease E