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PROKRNA Report Summary

Project ID: 260432
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Israel

Final Report Summary - PROKRNA (Prokaryotic RNomics: Unravelling the RNA-mediated regulatory layers)

The term “Transcriptome“ describes the complement of all RNAs found in a cell at a given times. While the transcriptomes of higher organisms such as human is known to be highly complex and has major regulatory roles, the transcriptomes of bacteria were considered very simple until the beginning of our project. Within the PROKRNA project we used novel interrogation methods and show that bacteria actually contain a very complex transcriptome as well. Our studies revealed a plethora of antisense-RNAs, which are being used as inhibitors, shutting down the expression of specific genes. Our results also show that the RNA in microorganisms is sometimes not a mere copy of the DNA but contains modifications that may affect gene regulation. Additional discoveries, such as circular RNAs and toxic RNAs that are encoded by specific microorganisms were also described by us. Specifically, we described a new and common form of RNA-based regulation of antibiotic resistance in human pathogens. Our studies produced methodological and conceptual breakthroughs in the emerging field of prokaryotic transcriptomics.

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