The catechol catabolic genes catABC from Rhodococcus opacus 1CP have previously been characterized by sequence analysis of the insert cloned on plasmid pRER1. Now, a 5.1-kb DNA fragment which overlaps with the insert of pRER1 was cloned, yielding pRER2, and subjected to sequencing. Besides three other open reading frames, a gene was detected ca 200 bp upstream of the catechol 1,2-dioxygenase gene catA, which is obviously transcribed divergently from catABC. The protein which can be deduced from this gene, CatR, resembles members of the PobR subfamily of IclR-type regulatory proteins. This finding was unexpected, as all catechol and chlorocatechol gene clusters known thus far from proteobacteria are under control of LysR-type regulators. It was not possible to inactivate catR by homologous recombination. However, heterologously expressed CatR in vitro bound specifically to the intergenic region between catR and catA thereby providing a first indication for a possible involvement of CatR in the regulation of catechol catabolism.