Available evidence indicates that oligomerization of the bacteriophage lambda S holin leads to a non-specific lesion in the cytoplasmic membrane which permits transit of the phage encoded transglycosylase to the periplasm. In an attempt to locate an intermolecular interaction domain in S a chimeric protein comprising the N-terminal 32 aa of phage PhiX174 lysis protein E and the last 75 aa of lambda S has been constructed. We report that the E phi S fusion protein is stable, membrane bound, and inhibits S-mediated lysis in trans. C-terminal truncations of the E phi S fusion protein indicated that the hydrophilic C-terminal end of S (i.e. the last 15 aa) is non-essential for oligomerization.