RNA plays a crucial role in the control of bacterial gene expression, either as carrier of information or as positive or negative regulators. Moreover, the machinery to decode the information, the ribosome, is a large ribonucleoprotein complex composed of rRNAs and many proteins. RNAs are normally single stranded but have the propensity to fold into secondary structures or anneal each other. In some instances these interactions are beneficial for the function of the RNA, but in other cases they may be deleterious. All cells have therefore developed proteins that act as chaperones or helicases to keep RNA metabolism alive.
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