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A-to-I mRNA editing in a ferric siderophore receptor improves competition for iron in Xanthomonas oryzae

By Wenhan Nie, Sai Wang, Jin Huang, Qin Xu, Peihong Wang, Yan Wu, Ayizekeranmu Yiming, Iftikhar Ahmad, Bo Zhu, Gongyou Chen

Posted 04 Dec 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.12.03.409276

Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing, which is catalyzed by the adenosine deaminase RNA-specific family of enzymes, is a frequent post-transcriptional modification in metazoans. Research on A-to-I editing in bacteria is limited, and the importance is underestimated. In this study, we show that bacteria may use A-to-I editing as an alternative strategy to promote uptake of metabolic iron. The T408A editing event of xfeA in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc) senses extracytoplasmic iron and changes the hydrogen bonding network of ligand channel domains. The frequency of A-to-I RNA editing during iron-deficient conditions increased by 76.87%, which facilitated the passage of iron through the XfeA outer membrane channel. When bacteria were subjected to high iron concentrations, the percentage of A-to-I editing in xfeA decreased, which reduced iron transport via XfeA. Furthermore, A-to-I RNA editing increased expression of multiple genes in the chemotaxis pathway, including methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins (MCPs) that sense concentrations of exogenous ferric enterobactin (Fe-Ent) at the cytoplasmic membrane. A-to-I RNA editing helps Xoc move towards an iron-rich environment and supports our contention that editing in xfeA facilitates entry of a ferric siderophore. Overall, our results reveal a new signaling mechanism that bacteria use to facilitate iron uptake and improve their competitiveness.

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