Résumé : The firA gene probably codes for an essential component of the transcription machinery in E. coli. Bacterial proteins coded by λfirA transducing phages have been examined after infection of a UV-irradiated λ lysogen, and 2 major fir-specific proteins have been characterized. The larger protein has a molecular weight of 27,000 daltons. The smaller protein, of 17,000 daltons, is produced in a considerable molar excess over the larger protein, is basic and binds strongly to DNA-, to DEAE-and to phospho-cellulose. This protein is clearly visible upon 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis of unfractionated E. coli protein, showing that it is present in the cell in large quantities. Evidence is presented to suggest that this protein may be identical to the Kappa factor of Schäfer and Zillig (1973). © 1977 Springer-Verlag.