Kristine Arnvig


Based at UCL

Personal Website

Mycobacterial Ribo-regulators

One of the biggest discoveries within the last couple of decades is that RNA is so much more than an intermediary between genes and proteins. RNA has turned out to have regulatory functions that affect all levels of gene expression in all domains of life, and as a consequence, proteins involved in RNA stability and turnover also have more prominent roles than previously anticipated. In spite of these findings, very little is known about the role of regulatory RNA (ribo-regulation) and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), one of the biggest killers throughout times. Mtb survival and pathogenesis depends on the ability to adjust to human host environments by modulating gene expression, and regulatory RNA plays an important role in this adaptation. Bacterial ribo-regulators come in different flavours including small RNAs (sRNAs), antisense RNA and riboswitches, and they are part of an extensive network of post-transcriptional regulators that interact with the protein-based regulation of gene expression mediated by e.g. transcription factors. By employing a range of molecular biology approaches and genetic systems, we aim to characterize the expression, and in particular the turnover and roles of different Mtb ribo-regulators. We have developed a tool to validate predicted sRNA-mRNA interactions, which can be combined with Transposon mutagenesis and genetic screens to identify mutations in proteins that regulate ribo-regulators (Figure). Our aim is to obtain a deeper understanding of the basic (RNA) biology of this pathogen, which in time will support the development of novel diagnostics, drugs and vaccines.

Selected publications

Cell-wall synthesis and ribosome maturation are co-regulated by an RNA switch in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Schwenk, S., Moores, A., Nobeli, I., McHugh, T.D., Arnvig, K.B.  Nucleic acids research, (2018) doi:10.1093/nar/gky226


Regulatory RNA in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, back to basics.

Schwenk, S., Arnvig, K.B. Pathogens and disease (2018) 76 (4), doi:10.1093/femspd/fty035

Expression, Maturation and Turnover of DrrS, an unusually stable, DosR Regulated small RNA in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Moores, A., Riesco, A.B., Schwenk, S., Arnvig, K.B.
 (2017) 12 (3):e0174079
Noncoding RNA in Mycobacteria.
Arnvig, K.B., Cortes, T., Young, D.B.
Microbiology Spectrum (2014) 2 (2):MGM2-0029-2013