Research

A collaborative study published in Nucleic Acids Research by members of IQFR and the Área de Genética-Universidad de Murcia (Unidad Asociada al IQFR) describes a new mechanism for regulated expression of a CRISPR-Cas system in the soil bacterium Myxococcus xanthus

CRISPR (for “Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats”) genetic loci and their associated (cas) genes are adaptive, small RNA-guided ‘immune’ systems for sequence-specific destruction of foreign genetic elements, such as phages and plasmids, in archaea and bacteria. They are providing revolutionary tools and applications, from microbes to plants and animals, for gene and genome editing to probe gene function and regulation with unprecedented specificity. CRISPR-Cas systems must be first expressed to carry out their function. A collaborative study published in Nucleic Acids Research by members of Instituto de Química Física “Rocasolano” and the Área de Genética-Universidad de Murcia (Unidad Asociada al IQFR) describes a new mechanism for regulated expression of a CRISPR-Cas system, mediated by multiple factors, in the soil bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. The mechanism relies on an alternative s factor of the ECF (for “extracytoplasmic function”) family, its negative regulation by the anti-s factor, and a global regulatory complex formed by two proteins, CarD and CarG. (ECF s factors are required to initiate expression of specific genes in response to specific extracellular signals). The findings represent yet another aspect in the multifaceted biology of these intriguing prokaryotic immune systems.

Article

Diego Bernal-Bernal, Javier Abellón-Ruiz, Antonio A. Iniesta, Elena Pajares-Martínez, Eva Bastida-Martínez, Marta Fontes, S. Padmanabhan, Montserrat Elías-Arnanz. “Multifactorial control of the expression of a CRISPR-Cas system by an extracytoplasmic function s/anti-s pair and a global regulatory complex” Nucleic Acids Research (June 9, 2018) doi: 10.1093/nar/gky475

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