9.B.357.  The Bacterial Envelope Biogenesis (BEB) Family 

The bacterial cytoplasmic membrane is a principal site of protein translocation, lipid and peptidoglycan biogenesis, signal transduction, transporters and energy generating components of the respiratory chain. 25-30% of bacterial proteomes consist of membrane proteins.  Mychack et al. 2019 showed that YciB (IspZ) and DcrB (YhhR), two small cytoplasmic membrane proteins, play an essential synergistic role in maintaining cell envelope integrity of E. coli. Lack of both YciB and DcrB results in pleiotropic cell defects including increased levels of lipopolysaccharide, membrane vesiculation, and dynamic shrinking and extension of the cytoplasmic membrane accompanied by lysis and cell death. The stalling of an abundant outer membrane lipoprotein, Lpp, at the periplasmic face of the inner membrane leads to lethal inner membrane-peptidoglycan linkages. Additionally, the periplasmic chaperone Skp contributes to yciB dcrB mutant cell death possibly by mistargeting stalled porins into the inner membrane. Consistent with the idea of a compromised envelope in the yciB dcrB mutant, multiple envelope stress response systems are induced, with Cpx signal transduction being required for growth. These results suggest a fundamental role for YciB and DcrB in cell envelope biogenesis.



Mychack, A., R.N. Amrutha, C. Chung, K. Cardenas Arevalo, M. Reddy, and A. Janakiraman. (2019). A synergistic role for two predicted inner membrane proteins of Escherichia coli in cell envelope integrity. Mol. Microbiol. 111: 317-337.


TC#NameOrganismal TypeExample

The putative cell envelop biogenesis proteins, YciB or IspZ of 179 aas and 5 TMSs, and DcrB or YhhR "phage sensitivity protein" of 185 aas and 1 N-terminal TMS. Both proteins are synergistically required for cell envelope integrity maintenance, and their loss gives rise to abnormal envelopes followed by cell death, possibly due to abnormal retention of porins in the inner membrane (see family description) (Mychack et al. 2019).

IspZ/DcrB of E. coli


DcrB (DUF1795; 187 aas and 1 N-terminal TMS) and IspZ (YciB; 186 aas and 5 (or 6) TMSs.

DrcB/IspZ of Bordetella avium


IspZ septation protein A of 198 aas and 6 TMSs (in a 4 + 2 TMS arrangement)/DcrB phage sensitivity protein of 194 aas and 1 N-terminal TMS.

DcrB/IspZ of Pseudomonas fluorescens


DcrB of 225 aas and 1 N-terminal TMS/IspZ of 185 aas and 6 TMSs.

DcrB/IspZ of Nissabacter archeti