WcaG RNA motif

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wcaG RNA motif
Consensus secondary structure of wcaG RNAs
Symbol wcaG RNA
Rfam RF01761
Other data
RNA type Cis-regulatory element
Domain(s) Cyanobacteria

The wcaG RNA motif is an RNA structure conserved in some bacteria that was detected by bioinformatics.[1] wcaG RNAs are found in certain phages that infect cyanobacteria. Most known wcaG RNAs were found in sequences of DNA extracted from uncultivated marine bacteria. wcaG RNAs might function as cis-regulatory elements, in view of their consistent location in the possible 5' untranslated regions of genes. It was suggested the wcaG RNAs might further function as riboswitches.

The genes hypothesized to be regulated by wcaG RNAs function in the synthesis of exopolysaccharides, or are induced by high amounts of light. These latter genes presumably related to cyanobacterial photosynthesis. The detected wcaG RNAs in purified phages are upstream of highlighted-induced genes. Although these genes are not thought of as typical of phages, it has previously been observed that phages infecting cyanobacteria commonly incorporate such genes.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ Weinberg Z, Wang JX, Bogue J, et al. (March 2010). "Comparative genomics reveals 104 candidate structured RNAs from bacteria, archaea and their metagenomes". Genome Biol. 11 (3): R31. PMC 2864571Freely accessible. PMID 20230605. doi:10.1186/gb-2010-11-3-r31. 
  2. ^ Sullivan MB, Coleman ML, Weigele P, Rohwer F, Chisholm SW (May 2005). "Three Prochlorococcus cyanophage genomes: signature features and ecological interpretations". PLoS Biol. 3 (5): e144. PMC 1079782Freely accessible. PMID 15828858. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0030144. 
  3. ^ Rohwer F, Thurber RV (May 2009). "Viruses manipulate the marine environment". Nature. 459 (7244): 207–12. PMID 19444207. doi:10.1038/nature08060. 
  4. ^ Lindell D, Jaffe JD, Coleman ML, et al. (September 2007). "Genome-wide expression dynamics of a marine virus and host reveal features of co-evolution". Nature. 449 (7158): 83–6. PMID 17805294. doi:10.1038/nature06130. 

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