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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Identification of a new inhibitor of essential division gene ftsZ as the kil gene of defective prophage Rac.

A gene function carried by a plasmid, causing arrest of cell division in Escherichia coli, has been identified as the product of a short open reading frame of the prophage Rac, previously designated orfE, expressed only under conditions of prophage induction. Because Rac carries a killing function expressed under conditions of zygotic induction, an orfE-defective Rac+ strain was constructed. This strain had lost the killing function, indicating that orfE is kil. Division inhibition by kil was specifically relieved by overexpression of essential division gene ftsZ. The kil gene product acts independently of the min operon, and its effects are increased in conditions of high cyclic AMP (cAMP) receptor protein-cAMP complex levels in the cell. Furthermore, at high levels of expression, kil product distorts the rod shape of the cells. 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.[1]


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