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Summary

The dicB operon of Escherichia coli, which was previously shown to code for a small protein inhibiting cell division, expresses a second inhibitor, DicF. Inhibition by DicF requires the transcription of a short (at the most 65 nucleotides long) stretch of DNA, acts in trans, and does not require the expression of other components of the dicABCF locus. The characteristics of the DNA sequence strongly suggest that division inhibition does not involve the translation of dicF mRNA into protein.