DNA damage response of Caulobacter crescentus

Junior Research Group Bacterial RNA Biology

Dr Kathrin Fröhlich
DNA damage response of Caulobacter crescentus
Image: Kathrin Fröhlich
Kathrin Fröhlich, Dr
Portrait Dr Kathrin Fröhlich.
Image: Carolin Bleese


Bacterial small RNAs (sRNAs) act as key elements in regulatory networks to control gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Most sRNAs function through direct base-pairing interactions with target transcripts, leading to changes in stability, processing and translation of the recognized mRNA. Their abilities to act on multiple transcripts and to exert both positive and negative regulation make sRNAs highly versatile and valuable molecules to help bacteria adapt to changing environmental conditions. While hundreds of sRNA candidates have been identified in genome-wide bioinformatic-based or experimental screens in enterobacteria, the bulk of studies investigating the function and mechanisms of sRNAs have been focusing on Escherichia coli or its close relatives. In our group, we use Caulobacter crescentus as a model organism to study the principles of RNA-mediated processes in alpha-proteobacteria, and to uncover novel mechanisms of bacterial gene regulation.


Bianco CM, Fröhlich KS, Vanderpool CK (2019) Bacterial Cyclopropane Fatty Acid Synthase mRNA is targeted by activating and repressing small RNAs. J Bacteriol 201(19)

Santiago-Frangos A*, Fröhlich KS*, Jeliazkov JR, Małecka-Grajek EM, Marino G, Gray JJ, Luisi BF, Woodson SA, Hardwick SW (2019) Caulobacter crescentus Hfq structure reveals a conserved mechanism of RNA annealing regulation. Proc Nat Acad Sci 116(22):10978-10987
*equally contributing authors

Herzog R, Peschek N, Fröhlich KS, Schumacher K, Papenfort K (2019) Three autoinducer molecules act in concert to control virulence gene expression in Vibrio cholerae. Nucleic Acids Res 47(6):3171-3183 

Fröhlich KS*, Förstner KU, Gitai Z* (2018) Post-transcriptional gene regulation by an Hfq-independent small RNA in Caulobacter crescentus. Nucleic Acids Res 46(20):10969-10982
*co-corresponding authors 

Fröhlich KS, Haneke K, Papenfort K, Vogel J (2016) The target spectrum of SdsR small RNA in Salmonella. Nucleic Acids Res 44(21): 10406-10422 

Dimastrogiovanni D, Fröhlich KS, Bandyra KJ, Bruce HA, Hohensee S, Vogel J, Luisi BF (2014) Recognition of the small regulatory RNA RydC by the bacterial Hfq protein. Elife 2014 Dec 31;3

 Fröhlich KS, Papenfort K, Fekete A, Vogel J (2013) A small RNA activates CFA synthase by isoform-specific mRNA stabilization. Embo J 32(22):2963-79

Fröhlich KS, Papenfort K, Berger AA, Vogel J (2012) A conserved RpoS-dependent small RNA controls the synthesis of major porin OmpD. Nucleic Acids Res 40(8): 3623-3640

Review Articles and Book Chapters

Fröhlich KS*, Gottesman S* (2018) Small Regulatory RNAs in the Enterobacterial Response to Envelope Damage and Oxidative Stress. Microbiol Spectr 2018 Jul;6(4)
*co-corresponding authors

Fröhlich KS, Papenfort K (2016) Interplay of regulatory RNAs and mobile genetic elements in enteric pathogens. Mol Microbiol 101(5):701-13

Fröhlich KS, Vogel J (2009) Activation of gene expression by small RNA. Curr Opin Microbiol 12(6): 674-682