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Res Microbiol. 1991 Feb-Apr;142(2-3):269-77.

Functional analysis of the fic gene involved in regulation of cell division.

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Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Kyoto University, Japan.


We have shown that cAMP may be a regulation factor in cell division of Escherichia coli (Utsumi et al., 1982, 1989). The fic (filamentation induced by cAMP) gene of this system found previously (Utsumi, et al., 1982) was analysed in this study. The open reading frame of the fic gene coded for 200 amino acids. The pabA (p-aminobenzoate synthase) gene was found downstream from the fic gene. The distance between the end of fic and the start of pabA was 31 base pairs. To deduce the function of Fic protein, the fic gene was destroyed by the kanamycin-resistant (Kmr) gene and the fic gene was shown to be essential for growth of E. coli. Such mutants required PAB (p-aminobenzoate) or folate for growth. These data suggested that the Fic protein is involved in the synthesis of PAB or folate and the fic gene could be part of a pab operon. In cells starved of them, cell division was inhibited. Addition of folate also repressed the filamentation induced by cAMP at 43 degrees C in the fic-1 mutant. These results would indicate that Fic protein and cAMP are involved in a new regulatory mechanism of cell division via folate metabolism. Furthermore, it is also shown that cell division could be controlled by coordination of cAMP, Fic and Fts proteins.

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