Second messenger control of mRNA translation by dynamic ribosome modification
Control of mRNA translation is a crucial regulatory mechanism used by bacteria to respond to their environment. In the soil bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens, RimK modifies the C-terminus of ribosomal protein RpsF to influence important aspects of rhizosphere colonisation through proteome remodelling. In this study, we show that RimK activity is itself under complex, multifactorial control by the co-transcribed phosphodiesterase trigger enzyme (RimA) and a polyglutamate-specific protease (RimB). Furthermore, biochemical experimentation and mathematical modelling reveal a role for the nucleotide second messenger cyclic-di-GMP in coordinating these activities. Active ribosome regulation by RimK occurs by two main routes: indirectly, through changes in the abundance of the global translational regulator Hfq and directly, with translation of surface attachment factors, amino acid transporters and key secreted molecules linked specifically to RpsF modification. Our findings show that post-translational ribosomal modification functions as a rapid-response mechanism that tunes global gene translation in response to environmental signals.
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