The role of RNases in the regulation of small RNAs

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2014 Apr;18:105-15. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2014.02.009. Epub 2014 Apr 3.


Ribonucleases (RNases) are key factors in the control of biological processes, since they modulate the processing, degradation and quality control of RNAs. This review gives many illustrative examples of the role of RNases in the regulation of small RNAs (sRNAs). RNase E and PNPase have been shown to degrade the free pool of sRNAs. RNase E can also be recruited to cleave mRNAs when they are interacting with sRNAs. RNase III cleaves double-stranded structures, and can cut both the sRNA and its RNA target when they are hybridized. Overall, ribonucleases act as conductors in the control of sRNAs. Therefore, it is very important to further understand their role in the post-transcriptional control of gene expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA, Small Untranslated / metabolism*
  • Ribonucleases / metabolism*


  • RNA, Small Untranslated
  • Ribonucleases