PcnB is required for the rapid degradation of RNAI, the antisense RNA that controls the copy number of ColE1-related plasmids.Mol Microbiol 1993; 9(6):1131-42MM
The replication of ColE1-related plasmids is controlled by an unstable antisense RNA, RNAI, which can interfere with the successful processing of the RNAII primer of replication. We show here that a host protein, PcnB, supports replication by promoting the decay of RNAI. In bacterial strains deleted for PcnB a stable, active form of RNAI, RNAI*, which appears to be identical to the product of 5'-end processing by RNAase E, accumulates. This leads to a reduction in plasmid copy number. We show, using a GST-PcnB fusion protein, that PcnB does not interfere with RNAI/RNAII binding in vitro. The fusion protein, like PcnB, has polyadenylating activity and is able to polyadenylate RNAI (and also another antisense RNA, CopA) in vitro.