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Gene Review

dicB  -  Qin prophage; cell division inhibition...

Escherichia coli str. K-12 substr. MG1655

Synonyms: ECK1569, JW1566, ftsT
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Disease relevance of dicB

  • The Escherichia coli genes dicF and dicB encode division inhibitors, which prevent the synthesis and activity, respectively, of the essential division protein FtsZ [1].
  • Cell division inhibition gene dicB is regulated by a locus similar to lambdoid bacteriophage immunity loci [2].
  • These features distinguish kil-encoded protein from the inhibitory product of gene dicB, which occupies a similar genetic location in Kim (Qin), another defective prophage of Escherichia coli [3].

High impact information on dicB

  • In this paper we show that one of the components of this division-inhibition system, the minC gene product, is also an essential component of another division-inhibition system, which is induced by derepression of the dicB gene and leads to inhibition of septation at all potential division sites [4].
  • We show now that gene dicB is part of a complex operon [5].
  • A mutation in a gene dicA of Escherichia coli leads to temperature-sensitive cell division, by allowing expression of a nearby division inhibition gene dicB (1) [6].
  • We have established that the long non-coding intercistronic region of the dicB operon of Escherichia coli expresses a trans-acting division inhibitor specified by a region dicF, at most 65 nucleotides-long [7].
  • We isolated mutants which survived a high temperature in the dicA1 background and which survived induced expression of dicB carried by a high-copy-number plasmid [8].

Biological context of dicB

  • In this study, operon fusions in the region coding for the division inhibition gene dicB have been used to show that temperature sensitivity does not result from high temperature inactivation of the dicA repressor [2].
  • Temperature-sensitive dicA mutants of Escherichia coli, dicA1(Ts), are blocked for cell division, owing to derepressed expression of a division inhibition gene, dicB [8].


  1. Sigma S-dependent overexpression of ftsZ in an Escherichia coli K-12 rpoB mutant that is resistant to the division inhibitors DicB and DicF RNA. Cam, K., Cuzange, A., Bouché, J.P. Mol. Gen. Genet. (1995) [Pubmed]
  2. Cell division inhibition gene dicB is regulated by a locus similar to lambdoid bacteriophage immunity loci. Béjar, S., Bouché, F., Bouché, J.P. Mol. Gen. Genet. (1988) [Pubmed]
  3. Identification of a new inhibitor of essential division gene ftsZ as the kil gene of defective prophage Rac. Conter, A., Bouché, J.P., Dassain, M. J. Bacteriol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  4. Central role for the Escherichia coli minC gene product in two different cell division-inhibition systems. de Boer, P.A., Crossley, R.E., Rothfield, L.I. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1990) [Pubmed]
  5. Identification and sequence of gene dicB: translation of the division inhibitor from an in-phase internal start. Cam, K., Béjar, S., Gil, D., Bouché, J.P. Nucleic Acids Res. (1988) [Pubmed]
  6. Control of cell division in Escherichia coli. DNA sequence of dicA and of a second gene complementing mutation dicA1, dicC. Béjar, S., Cam, K., Bouché, J.P. Nucleic Acids Res. (1986) [Pubmed]
  7. Escherichia coli cell division inhibitor DicF-RNA of the dicB operon. Evidence for its generation in vivo by transcription termination and by RNase III and RNase E-dependent processing. Faubladier, M., Cam, K., Bouché, J.P. J. Mol. Biol. (1990) [Pubmed]
  8. Isolation and mapping of Escherichia coli mutations conferring resistance to division inhibition protein DicB. Labie, C., Bouché, F., Bouché, J.P. J. Bacteriol. (1989) [Pubmed]
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