Florian Turbant, Jehan Waeytens, Camille Campidelli, Marianne Bombled, Denis Martinez, Axelle Grélard, Birgit Habenstein, Vincent Raussens, Marisela Velez, Frank Wien, Véronique Arluison
Hfq is a pleiotropic regulator that mediates several aspects of bacterial RNA metabolism. The protein notably regulates translation efficiency and RNA decay in Gram-negative bacteria, usually via its interaction with small regulatory RNAs. Previously, we showed that the Hfq C-terminal region forms an amyloid-like structure and that these fibrils interact with membranes. The immediate consequence of this interaction is a disruption of the membrane, but the effect on Hfq structure was unknown. To investigate details of the mechanism of interaction, the present work uses different in vitro biophysical approaches. We show that the Hfq C-terminal region influences membrane integrity and, conversely, that the membrane specifically affects the amyloid assembly. The reported effect of this bacterial master regulator on membrane integrity is discussed in light of the possible consequence on small regulatory RNA-based regulation.