arfA antisense RNA regulates MscL excretory activity

Rosa Morra, Fenryco Pratama, Thomas Butterfield, Geizecler Tomazetto, Kath Young, Ruth Lopez, Neil Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Excretion of cytoplasmic protein (ECP) is a commonly observed phenomenon in bacteria and this partial extracellular localisation of the intracellular proteome has been implicated in a variety of stress response mechanisms. In response to hypoosmotic shock and ribosome stalling in E. coli, ECP is dependent upon the presence of the Large-conductance mechanosensitive channel and the Alternative ribosome-rescue factor A gene products. However, it is not known if a mechanistic link exists between the corresponding genes and the respective stress response pathways. Here we report that the corresponding mscL and arfA genes are commonly co-located on the genomes of Gammaproteobacteria and display overlap in their respective 3′ UTR and 3′ CDS. We show this unusual genomic arrangement permits an antisense RNA mediated regulatory control between mscL and arfA and this modulates MscL excretory activity in E. coli. These findings highlight a mechanistic link between osmotic and translational stress responses, and ECP in E. coli, and further elucidates the previously unknown regulatory function of arfA sRNA.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLife Science Alliance
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Mar 2023


  • MscL
  • ArfA
  • osmotic stress
  • translational stress
  • Excretion of cytoplasmic protein (ECP)


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