Inhibition of host cell division by T5 protein 008 (Hdi)

Tridib Mahata, Shahar Molshanski-Mor, Moran G. Goren, Miriam Kohen-Manor, Ido Yosef, Oren Avram, Dor Salomon, Udi Qimron*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Bacteriophages (phages) have evolved effective methods of exploiting host-cell machinery by redirecting molecular pathways. In this study, we describe an inhibitor of bacterial growth, T5.008, encoded by the T5 phage. High-throughput sequencing of genomic DNA from bacterial mutants resistant to T5.008 identified mutations in the Escherichia coli ftsZ gene, suggesting that T5.008 targets the cell division protein FtsZ. We validated this finding by replacing a residue in FtsZ with one that confers protection from T5.008 inhibition. We used time-lapse microscopy to show that T5.008 interferes with FtsZ ring formation and stability, thereby inhibiting division. We also demonstrated that phages expressing T5.008 can prevent host division before lysis much more efficiently than those lacking T5.008. We also showed that T5.008 provides a competitive advantage to the T5 phage. This strategy of inhibiting division during phage infection likely enables T5 phage to utilize host-cell resources efficiently.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2023


FundersFunder number
Edmond J. Safra Center for Bioinformatics
Eli Hurvitz Foundation LTD
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme818878, 714224
European Research Council
Tel Aviv University
Ministry of Health, State of Israel15370


    • bacterial division
    • bacteriophage biology
    • host takeover


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