The rate of processing and degradation of antisense RNAI regulates the replication of ColE1-type plasmids in vivo.Cell 1991; 65(7):1233-42Cell
We show that the rate of degradation of RNAI, an anti-sense repressor of the replication primer RNAII, is a key element of control in the replication of ColE1-type plasmids in vivo. Cleavage of RNAI by RNAase E, a ribosomal RNA-processing enzyme encoded or controlled by the rne (also known as ams) locus, relieves repression by endonucleolytically converting RNAI to a very rapidly decaying product, pRNAI-5. A 5' triphosphate-terminated homolog of pRNAI-5 is degraded slowly and consequently inhibits replication. Nucleotide substitutions within the RNAase E cleavage sequence alter RNAI half-life and plasmid copy number, changing also the incompatibility phenotype. RNAI variants lacking the sequence cleaved by RNAase E are eliminated by growth rate-dependent degradation, resulting in growth-responsive control of plasmid replication and copy number.