Regulatory RNAs in bacteria

Cell. 2009 Feb 20;136(4):615-28. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.01.043.


Bacteria possess numerous and diverse means of gene regulation using RNA molecules, including mRNA leaders that affect expression in cis, small RNAs that bind to proteins or base pair with target RNAs, and CRISPR RNAs that inhibit the uptake of foreign DNA. Although examples of RNA regulators have been known for decades in bacteria, we are only now coming to a full appreciation of their importance and prevalence. Here, we review the known mechanisms and roles of regulatory RNAs, highlight emerging themes, and discuss remaining questions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Models, Biological
  • RNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • RNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics
  • RNA, Untranslated / metabolism


  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Untranslated