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Gene Review

chbF  -  phospho-chitobiase; general 6-phospho-beta...

Escherichia coli str. K-12 substr. MG1655

Synonyms: ECK1732, JW1723, celF, ydjD
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Disease relevance of chbF

  • The gene celF of the cryptic cel operon of Escherichia coli has been cloned, and the encoded 6-phospho-beta-glucosidase (cellobiose-6-phosphate [6P] hydrolase; CelF [EC]) has been expressed and purified in a catalytically active state [1].

High impact information on chbF

  • Chitobiose is transported by the phosphotransferase system (PTS) producing chitobiose-6P which is hydrolysed to GlcNAc-6P by the chbF gene product and then further degraded by the nagBA gene products [2].
  • The celF gene, located in the cellulosome-like gene cluster and coding for a unique cellulase that belongs to glycoside hydrolase family 48, was cloned in Escherichia coli, and antibodies were raised against the overproduced CelF protein [3].
  • Cloning and sequencing of DNA downstream of the celF gene revealed three open reading frames (potentially encoding polypeptides of 9.9, 14.1 and 28.5 kDa) that could be co-expressed with the celF gene and that may underlie the observed induction of the celF gene by nickel [4].


  1. Cellobiose-6-phosphate hydrolase (CelF) of Escherichia coli: characterization and assignment to the unusual family 4 of glycosylhydrolases. Thompson, J., Ruvinov, S.B., Freedberg, D.I., Hall, B.G. J. Bacteriol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  2. Expression of the chitobiose operon of Escherichia coli is regulated by three transcription factors: NagC, ChbR and CAP. Plumbridge, J., Pellegrini, O. Mol. Microbiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  3. Substrate-induced production and secretion of cellulases by Clostridium acetobutylicum. López-Contreras, A.M., Gabor, K., Martens, A.A., Renckens, B.A., Claassen, P.A., Van Der Oost, J., De Vos, W.M. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  4. A luxAB transcriptional fusion to the cryptic celF gene of Escherichia coli displays increased luminescence in the presence of nickel. Guzzo, A., DuBow, M.S. Mol. Gen. Genet. (1994) [Pubmed]
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