Conservation of small regulatory RNAs in Vibrio parahaemolyticus: Possible role of RNA-OUT encoded by the pathogenicity island (VPaI-7) of pandemic strains
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Small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) are molecules that play an important role in the regulation of gene expression. sRNAs in bacteria can affect important processes, such as metabolism and virulence. Previous studies showed a significant role of sRNAs in the Vibrio species, but knowledge about Vibrio parahaemolyticus is limited. Here, we examined the conservation of sRNAs between V. parahaemolyticus and other human Vibrio species, in addition to investigating the conservation between V. parahaemolyticus strains differing in pandemic origin. Our results showed that only 7% of sRNAs were conserved between V. parahaemolyticus and other species, but 88% of sRNAs were highly conserved within species. Nonetheless, two sRNAs coding to RNA-OUT, a component of the Tn10/IS10 system, were exclusively present in pandemic strains. Subsequent analysis showed that both RNA-OUT were located in pathogenicity island-7 and would interact with transposase VPA1379, according to the model of pairing of IS10-encoded antisense RNAs. According to the location of RNA-OUT/VPA1379, we also investigated if they were expressed during infection. We observed that the transcriptional level of VPA1379 was significantly increased, while RNA-OUT was decreased at three hours post-infection. We suggest that IS10 transcription increases in pandemic strains during infection, probably to favor IS10 transposition and improve their fitness when they are facing adverse conditions.
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