Cyclic oligoadenylate signalling mediates Mycobacterium tuberculosis CRISPR defence

Sabine Grüschow, Januka S Athukoralage, Shirley Graham, Tess Hoogeboom, Malcolm F White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The CRISPR system provides adaptive immunity against mobile genetic elements (MGE) in prokaryotes. In type III CRISPR systems, an effector complex programmed by CRISPR RNA detects invading RNA, triggering a multi-layered defence that includes target RNA cleavage, licencing of an HD DNA nuclease domain and synthesis of cyclic oligoadenylate (cOA) molecules. cOA activates the Csx1/Csm6 family of effectors, which degrade RNA non-specifically to enhance immunity. Type III systems are found in diverse archaea and bacteria, including the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Here, we report a comprehensive analysis of the in vitro and in vivo activities of the type III-A M. tuberculosis CRISPR system. We demonstrate that immunity against MGE may be achieved predominantly via a cyclic hexa-adenylate (cA6) signalling pathway and the ribonuclease Csm6, rather than through DNA cleavage by the HD domain. Furthermore, we show for the first time that a type III CRISPR system can be reprogrammed by replacing the effector protein, which may be relevant for maintenance of immunity in response to pressure from viral anti-CRISPRs. These observations demonstrate that M. tuberculosis has a fully-functioning CRISPR interference system that generates a range of cyclic and linear oligonucleotides of known and unknown functions, potentiating fundamental and applied studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9259-9270
Number of pages12
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Volume47
Issue number17
Early online date8 Aug 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2019

Keywords

  • Crystal-structure
  • DNA cleavage
  • CMS complex
  • Protein
  • Degradation
  • Immunity
  • System
  • CSX1

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