Structural signatures of thermal adaptation of bacterial ribosomal RNA, transfer RNA, and messenger RNA
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Temperature adaptation of bacterial RNAs is a subject of both fundamental and practical interest because it will allow a better understanding of molecular mechanism of RNA folding with potential industrial application of functional thermophilic or psychrophilic RNAs. Here, we performed a comprehensive study of rRNA, tRNA, and mRNA of more than 200 bacterial species with optimal growth temperatures (OGT) ranging from 4°C to 95°C. We investigated temperature adaptation at primary, secondary and tertiary structure levels. We showed that unlike mRNA, tRNA and rRNA were optimized for their structures at compositional levels with significant tertiary structural features even for their corresponding randomly permutated sequences. tRNA and rRNA are more exposed to solvent but remain structured for hyperthermophiles with nearly OGT-independent fluctuation of solvent accessible surface area within a single RNA chain. mRNA in hyperthermophiles is essentially the same as random sequences without tertiary structures although many mRNA in mesophiles and psychrophiles have well-defined tertiary structures based on their low overall solvent exposure with clear separation of deeply buried from partly exposed bases as in tRNA and rRNA. These results provide new insight into temperature adaptation of different RNAs.
© 2017 Jegousse et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Microbiology not elsewhere classified