Department of Biological Sciences
Wayne State University
Host: John Hunt
Title: Bacterial RNP-bodies organize mRNA decay
Abstract: Bacteria have distinct challenges to organize their cellular pathways as they generally lack membrane-bound organelles. In eukaryotes, membraneless organelles called biomolecular condensates provide distinct liquid-liquid phase separated structures that organize cellular components. We identified bacterial ribonucleoprotein bodies (BR-bodies) as the first biomolecular condensate identified in bacterial cells composed of the RNA degradosome multi-protein complex and cellular RNAs. Here we will describe how the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus organizes ribonucleases, RNA helicases, and mRNA substrates into BR-bodies which stimulate mRNA decay. Therefore, we propose that the formation of similar biomolecular condensate organelles may provide a particularly effective strategy for spatially organizing biochemical pathways in bacteria.