The dinA (damage inducible) gene was previously identified as one of the SOS genes with no known function; it was mapped near the leuB gene, where the polB gene encoding DNA polymerase II was also mapped. We cloned the chromosomal fragment carrying the dinA region from the ordered Escherichia coli genomic library and mapped the dinA promoter precisely on the physical map of the chromosome. The cells that harbored multicopy plasmids with the dinA region expressed very high levels of DNA polymerase activity, which was sensitive to N-ethylmaleimide, an inhibitor of DNA polymerase II. Expression of the polymerase activity encoded by the dinA locus was regulated by SOS system, and the dinA promoter was the promoter of the gene encoding the DNA polymerase. From these data we conclude that the polB gene is identical to the dinA gene and is regulated by the SOS system. The product of the polB (dinA) gene was identified as an 80-kDa protein by the maxicell method.