A small, stable RNA induced by oxidative stress: role as a pleiotropic regulator and antimutator

Cell. 1997 Jul 11;90(1):43-53. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)80312-8.


Exposure of E. coli to hydrogen peroxide induces the transcription of a small RNA denoted oxyS. The oxyS RNA is stable, abundant, and does not encode a protein. oxyS activates and represses the expression of numerous genes in E. coli, and eight targets, including genes encoding the transcriptional regulators FhlA and sigma(S), were identified. oxyS expression also leads to a reduction in spontaneous and chemically-induced mutagenesis. Our results suggest that the oxyS RNA acts as a regulator that integrates adaptation to hydrogen peroxide with other cellular stress responses and helps to protect cells against oxidative damage.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization
  • Bacterial Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology*
  • Methylnitronitrosoguanidine
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Bacterial / biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Methylnitronitrosoguanidine
  • Hydrogen Peroxide

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U87390