RNA-binding activity and regulatory functions of the emerging sRNA-binding protein ProQ

Biochim Biophys Acta Gene Regul Mech. 2020 Sep;1863(9):194596. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2020.194596. Epub 2020 Jun 19.


Regulatory small RNAs (sRNAs) ubiquitously impact bacterial physiology through antisense-mediated control of mRNA translation and stability. In Gram negative bacteria, sRNAs often associate with RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), both to gain cellular stability and to enable regulatory efficiency. The Hfq and CsrA proteins were for long the only known global RBPs implicated in sRNA biology. During the last five years, the FinO domain-containing protein ProQ has emerged as another global RBP with a broad spectrum of sRNA and mRNA ligands. This review provides a summary of the current knowledge of enterobacterial ProQ, with a special focus on RNA binding activity, RNA ligand preferences, influence on RNA stability and gene expression, and impact on bacterial physiology. Considering that characterization of ProQ is still in its infancy, we highlight aspects that, when addressed, will provide important clues to the physiological functions and regulatory mechanisms of this globally acting RBP.

Keywords: FinO; Hfq; Post-transcriptional regulation; ProQ; RNA-binding protein; sRNA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Ligands
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • RNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • RNA, Bacterial / genetics*
  • RNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / chemistry
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Untranslated / chemistry
  • RNA, Small Untranslated / genetics*
  • RNA, Small Untranslated / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Ligands
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Small Untranslated
  • RNA-Binding Proteins