An RNA-seq based comparative approach reveals the transcriptome-wide interplay between 3'-to-5' exoRNases and RNase Y

Nat Commun. 2020 Mar 27;11(1):1587. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15387-6.


RNA degradation is an essential process that allows bacteria to control gene expression and adapt to various environmental conditions. It is usually initiated by endoribonucleases (endoRNases), which produce intermediate fragments that are subsequently degraded by exoribonucleases (exoRNases). However, global studies of the coordinated action of these enzymes are lacking. Here, we compare the targetome of endoRNase Y with the targetomes of 3'-to-5' exoRNases from Streptococcus pyogenes, namely, PNPase, YhaM, and RNase R. We observe that RNase Y preferentially cleaves after guanosine, generating substrate RNAs for the 3'-to-5' exoRNases. We demonstrate that RNase Y processing is followed by trimming of the newly generated 3' ends by PNPase and YhaM. Conversely, the RNA 5' ends produced by RNase Y are rarely further trimmed. Our strategy enables the identification of processing events that are otherwise undetectable. Importantly, this approach allows investigation of the intricate interplay between endo- and exoRNases on a genome-wide scale.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 5' Untranslated Regions / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Exoribonucleases / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Guanosine / metabolism
  • Operon / genetics
  • RNA Stability / genetics
  • RNA-Seq*
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / genetics
  • Transcriptome / genetics*


  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • Guanosine
  • Exoribonucleases