In the last decade regulatory RNAs have emerged as powerful tools to regulate the expression of genes both in prokaryotes and in eukaryotes. RNases, by degrading these RNA molecules, control the right amount of regulatory RNAs, which is fundamental for an accurate regulation of gene expression in the cell. Remarkably the first antisense RNAs identified were plasmid-encoded and their detailed study was crucial for the understanding of prokaryotic antisense RNAs. In this review we highlight the role of RNases in the precise modulation of antisense RNAs that control plasmid replication, maintenance and transfer.
- Antisense RNA