Regulatory small RNAs and RNases
In addition to CRISPR-associated RNAs, bacteria encode several other small RNAs (sRNAs) that play critical regulatory roles in important biological pathways. We have identified a number of putative cis-acting sRNAs (e.g., riboswitches) and trans-acting sRNAs in the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes. We address the question of how selected sRNAs integrate into the general regulatory network controlling pathogenesis and related mechanisms in this pathogen. We aim to understand the regulation of sRNA expression by ribonucleases, analyze the biological functions of sRNAs, identify their interaction partners, and determine their modes of action at the molecular and cellular levels.