Small RNAs in cell-to-cell communications during bacterial infection

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Intercellular communication is a widespread phenomenon in all domains of life. Bacteria have developed many ways of communicating with one another and with other species, either prokaryotic or eukaryotic. RNA has been a key molecule since the beginning of life on Earth, and is one of the carriers of information. Given the current antibiotic crisis, understanding the way in which pathogens communicate can lead towards improved ways to control infections when antimicrobial therapy is not possible. Different subspecies of RNA, non-coding, and of small size, designated here as ncRNAs, have been in recent years the subject of a great research effort, and results have contributed to a growing field of knowledge. This review focuses on four different aspects of ncRNA involvement in cell-to-cell communications during bacterial infections: pathogen recognition by the host, alteration of host microRNA profiles, production of domestic and secreted forms of ncRNAs and subversion of the host responses. The current review article focuses on the most recent discoveries in the field and gives an integrative idea based on the discussed studies.

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