Small RNA F6 Provides Mycobacterium smegmatis Entry into Dormancy

Artem Grigorov, Oksana Bychenko, Elena G. Salina, Yulia Skvortsova, Arina Mazurova, Timofey Skvortsov, Arseny Kaprelyants, Tatyana Azhikina*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Regulatory small non-coding RNAs play a significant role in bacterial adaptation to changing environmental conditions. Various stresses such as hypoxia and nutrient starvation cause a reduction in the metabolic activity of Mycobacterium smegmatis, leading to entry into dormancy. We investigated the functional role of F6, a small RNA of M. smegmatis, and constructed an F6 deletion strain of M. smegmatis. Using the RNA-seq approach, we demonstrated that gene expression changes that accompany F6 deletion contributed to bacterial resistance against oxidative stress. We also found that F6 directly interacted with 5′-UTR of MSMEG_4640 mRNA encoding RpfE2, a resuscitation-promoting factor, which led to the downregulation of RpfE2 expression. The F6 deletion strain was characterized by the reduced ability to enter into dormancy (non-culturability) in the potassium deficiency model compared to the wild-type strain, indicating that F6 significantly contributes to bacterial adaptation to non-optimal growth conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11536
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2021


  • Mycobacterium smegmatis
  • small non-coding RNA
  • F6
  • resuscitation promoting factor RpfE2
  • dormancy
  • non-culturability
  • adaptation to stresses


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