Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are categorized into three classes based on the type of antitoxin. In type I TA systems, the antitoxin is a small antisense RNA that inhibits translation of small toxic proteins by binding to the corresponding mRNAs. Those type I TA systems were originally identified as plasmid stabilization modules rendering a post-segregational killing (PSK) effect on the host cells. The type I TA loci also exist on the Escherichia coli chromosome but their biological functions are less clear. Genetic organization and regulatory elements of hok/sok and ldr/rdl families are very similar and the toxins are predicted to contain a transmembrane domain, but otherwise share no detectable sequence similarity. This review will give an overview of the type I TA modules of E. coli K-12, especially hok/sok, ldr/rdl and SOS-inducible symE/symR systems, which are regulated by divergently overlapping cis-encoded antisense RNAs.