Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 88, Issue 6, pp 565–575 | Cite as

Identification of differentially expressed small non-protein-coding RNAs in Staphylococcus aureus displaying both the normal and the small-colony variant phenotype

  • Luay F. Abu-Qatouseh
  • Suresh V. Chinni
  • Jochen Seggewiß
  • Richard A. Proctor
  • Jürgen Brosius
  • Timofey S. Rozhdestvensky
  • Georg Peters
  • Christof von Eiff
  • Karsten BeckerEmail author
Original article


The emerging interest in RNA research is due to the discovery that bacterial non-protein-coding RNAs (npcRNAs; often referred to as “non-coding RNAs”) are central regulatory molecules. While single npcRNAs have been described in Staphylococcus aureus, mostly based on computational-based approaches, experimental data on npcRNAs and their impact on the formation of different phenotypes of S. aureus are missing. Consequently, two specialized cDNA libraries were constructed from total RNA collected from different growth phases of an isogenic clinical strain pair of S. aureus displaying both the normal and the small-colony variant phenotype. Overall, 142 candidates for novel npcRNAs were identified and their expression analyzed by Northern blot assays. Of these, the presence of 18 novel npcRNAs in S. aureus was experimentally confirmed. In fact, growth phase-specific regulation was detected for almost all of the novel npcRNAs, with different npcRNA expression patterns detectable for both phenotypes. Of particular interest, S. aureus phenotype-specific expression of four novel npcRNAs was documented. Thus, the presence of differentially expressed npcRNAs in S. aureus may help to understand the phenotypic variation and its associated pathogenicity.


Infectiology Infection RNA Transcription 



This work was supported in part by grants to CvE and KB from the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), Germany (01KI07100 “Skin Staph” [Susceptibility and Resistance towards Infections] and PTJ-BIO/0313801B [Pathogenomic Plus Network]), by grants to KB (BE2546/1-1) and CvE (EI247/7-1) from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft as well as by grants to JB and TSR from the Nationales Genomforschungsnetz (NGFNII-EP 0313358A and NGFNIII 016S0808). LFA received a scholarship by the DAAD (A/05/55152).

The authors sincerely thank C. A. Raabe for support in computational analyses and helpful discussion. The authors are grateful to D. Kuhn for excellent technical assistance.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

109_2010_597_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (38 kb)
Supplementary data file 1 Three tables listing the 142 candidates for novel npcRNAs with their genomic origin and orientation, statistical analysis of the distribution of cDNA clones in the library and the expression patterns of the npcRNAs as provided by Northern blot analysis. (PDF 37 kb)
109_2010_597_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (13 kb)
Supplementary data file 2 Previously described npcRNAs recovered in the libraries of this study. (PDF 13 kb)
109_2010_597_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (23 kb)
Supplementary data file 3 Two tables listing the sequences of oligonucleotides used in Northern blot assays for the detection of previously described npcRNAs and novel S. aureus npcRNAs. (PDF 23 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luay F. Abu-Qatouseh
    • 1
  • Suresh V. Chinni
    • 4
  • Jochen Seggewiß
    • 1
    • 2
  • Richard A. Proctor
    • 5
    • 6
  • Jürgen Brosius
    • 4
  • Timofey S. Rozhdestvensky
    • 4
  • Georg Peters
    • 1
  • Christof von Eiff
    • 1
    • 3
  • Karsten Becker
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.University Hospital of Münster, Institute of Medical MicrobiologyMünsterGermany
  2. 2.Integrated Functional Genomics (IFG) of the Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research (IZKF) of the University of MünsterMünsterGermany
  3. 3.Wyeth Pharma GmbHMünsterGermany
  4. 4.University of Münster, Institute of Experimental PathologyMünsterGermany
  5. 5.Department of MedicineUniversity of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA
  6. 6.Department of Medical Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA

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