Participation of two sRNA RyhB homologs from the fish pathogen Yersinia ruckeri in bacterial physiology

Lillian G. Acuña, M. José Barros, Fernanda Montt, Diego Peñaloza, Paula Núñez, Iván Valdés, Fernando Gil, Juan A. Fuentes, Iván L. Calderón

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Small noncoding RNAs (sRNAs) are important regulators of gene expression and physiology in bacteria. RyhB is an iron-responsive sRNA well characterized in Escherichia coli and conserved in other Enterobacteriaceae. In this study, we identified and characterized two RyhB homologs (named RyhB-1 and RyhB-2) in the fish pathogen Yersinia ruckeri. We found that, as in other Enterobacteriaceae, both RyhB-1 and RyhB-2 are induced under iron starvation, repressed by the Fur regulator, and depend on Hfq for stability. Despite these similarities in expression, the mutant strains of Y. ruckeri lacking RyhB-1 (ΔryhB-1) or RyhB-2 (ΔryhB-2) exhibited differential phenotypes. In comparison with the wild type, the ΔryhB-1 strain showed a hypermotile phenotype, reduced biofilm formation, increased replication rate, faster growth, and increased ATP levels in bacterial cultures. By contrast, in salmon cell cultures, the ΔryhB-1 strain exhibited an increased survival. On the other hand, the ΔryhB-2 strain was non-motile and showed augmented biofilm formation as compared to the wild type. The expression of a subset of RyhB conserved targets, selected from different bacterial species, was analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR in wild type, ΔryhB-1, ΔryhB-2, and ΔryhB-1 ΔryhB-2 strains cultured in iron-depleted media. RyhB-1 negatively affected the expression of most analyzed genes (sodB, acnA, sdhC, bfr, fliF, among others), whose functions are related to metabolism and motility, involving iron-containing proteins. Among the genes analyzed, only sdhC and bfr appeared as targets for RyhB-2. Taken together, these results indicate that Y. ruckeri RyhB homologs participate in the modulation of the bacterial physiology with non-redundant roles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126629
JournalMicrobiological Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Bacterial physiology
  • Iron homeostasis
  • RyhB
  • Yersinia ruckeri

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


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