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The Rsm (Csr) post-transcriptional regulatory pathway coordinately controls multiple CRISPR–Cas immune systems
Nucleic Acids Research  (IF16.971),  Pub Date : 2021-08-17, DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkab704
Campa A, Smith L, Hampton H, et al.

CRISPR–Cas systems provide bacteria with adaptive immunity against phages and plasmids; however, pathways regulating their activity are not well defined. We recently developed a high-throughput genome-wide method (SorTn-seq) and used this to uncover CRISPR–Cas regulators. Here, we demonstrate that the widespread Rsm/Csr pathway regulates the expression of multiple CRISPR–Cas systems in Serratia (type I-E, I-F and III-A). The main pathway component, RsmA (CsrA), is an RNA-binding post-transcriptional regulator of carbon utilisation, virulence and motility. RsmA binds cas mRNAs and suppresses type I and III CRISPR–Cas interference in addition to adaptation by type I systems. Coregulation of CRISPR–Cas and flagella by the Rsm pathway allows modulation of adaptive immunity when changes in receptor availability would alter susceptibility to flagella-tropic phages. Furthermore, we show that Rsm controls CRISPR–Cas in other genera, suggesting conservation of this regulatory strategy. Finally, we identify genes encoding RsmA homologues in phages, which have the potential to manipulate the physiology of host bacteria and might provide an anti-CRISPR activity.