When ribonucleases come into play in pathogens: a survey of gram-positive bacteria.
It is widely acknowledged that RNA stability plays critical roles in bacterial adaptation and survival in different environments like those encountered when bacteria infect a host. Bacterial ribonucleases acting alone or in concert with regulatory RNAs or RNA binding proteins are the mediators of the regulatory outcome on RNA stability. We will give a current update of what is known about ribonucleases in the model Gram-positive organism Bacillus subtilis and will describe their established roles in virulence in several Gram-positive pathogenic bacteria that are imposing major health concerns worldwide. Implications on bacterial evolution through stabilization/transfer of genetic material (phage or plasmid DNA) as a result of ribonucleases' functions will be covered. The role of ribonucleases in emergence of antibiotic resistance and new concepts in drug design will additionally be discussed.