Title

The Role of RNase Y in Gene Regulation During Transmission of B. burgdorferi

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi is the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. B. burgdorferi is transmitted to mammals via a tick in an enzootic cycle; humans are incidental hosts in the cycle. Understanding the complex mechanism of gene regulation during the transmission of B. burgdorferi may provide clues toward developing new treatments for Lyme disease. We are interested in the alternative sigma factor RpoS, which directs the expression of genes required for transmission and mammalian infection. The rpoS gene is transcribed as a long mRNA and then processed into a functional, short mRNA that is translated into the alternative sigma factor. We hypothesize that the long mRNA is processed by the riboendonuclease RNase Y, which is encoded by the rny gene. To test this hypothesis, I am generating a conditional rny mutant by replacing the native rny promoter with a synthetic flac promoter that can be artificially regulated by the sugar analog IPTG. This inducible rny mutant will allow us to experimentally control the amount of RNase Y in B. burgdorferi, so that we can genetically assay if RNase Y plays a role in rpoS mRNA processing.

Category

Physical Sciences

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Apr 11th, 11:00 AM Apr 11th, 11:20 AM

The Role of RNase Y in Gene Regulation During Transmission of B. burgdorferi

The spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi is the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. B. burgdorferi is transmitted to mammals via a tick in an enzootic cycle; humans are incidental hosts in the cycle. Understanding the complex mechanism of gene regulation during the transmission of B. burgdorferi may provide clues toward developing new treatments for Lyme disease. We are interested in the alternative sigma factor RpoS, which directs the expression of genes required for transmission and mammalian infection. The rpoS gene is transcribed as a long mRNA and then processed into a functional, short mRNA that is translated into the alternative sigma factor. We hypothesize that the long mRNA is processed by the riboendonuclease RNase Y, which is encoded by the rny gene. To test this hypothesis, I am generating a conditional rny mutant by replacing the native rny promoter with a synthetic flac promoter that can be artificially regulated by the sugar analog IPTG. This inducible rny mutant will allow us to experimentally control the amount of RNase Y in B. burgdorferi, so that we can genetically assay if RNase Y plays a role in rpoS mRNA processing.