ydfD encodes a novel lytic protein in Escherichia coli

Hisako Masuda, Naoki Awano, Masayori Inouye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Bacteria carry a number of genes that cause cell growth arrest or cell lysis upon expression. Notably, defective prophages retain many lysis proteins. Here, we identified a novel lytic gene, ydfD, on the Qin prophage segment of the Escherichia coli genome. YdfD lyses 99.9% of cells within 2 h of its induction. The co-expression of the upstream gene, dicB, encoding a cell division inhibitor, as well as sulA, encoding another cell division inhibitor, abolished YdfD-induced cell lysis. These results imply that YdfD-induced lysis is a cell division-dependent event. We further found that by deleting the hydrophobic 22-residue N-terminal domain, the resulting 42-residue C-terminal domain was still toxic to cause cell lysis. We propose that YdfD, associated with the cytoplasmic membrane, inhibits an essential cellular process(s).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberfnw039
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 8 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


  • Escherichia coli
  • Lysis
  • Prophage
  • Ydfd


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