Mitochondrial manganese-containing superoxide dismutase was purified around 112-fold with an overall yield of 1.1% to apparent electrophoretic homogeneity from the dimorphic pathogenic fungus, Candida albicans. The molecular mass of the native enzyme was 106 kDa and the enzyme was composed of four identical subunits with a molecular mass of 26 kDa. The enzyme was not sensitive to either cyanide or hydrogen peroxide. The N-terminal amino acid sequence alignments (up to the 18th residue) showed that the enzyme has high similarity to the other eukaryotic manganese-containing superoxide dismutases. The gene sod2 encoding manganese-containing superoxide dismutase has been cloned using a product obtained from polymerase chain reaction. Sequence analysis of the sod2 predicted a manganese-containing superoxide dismutase that contains 234 amino acid residues with a molecular mass of 26173 Da, and displayed 57% sequence identity to the homologue of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The deduced N-terminal 34 amino acid residues may serve as a signal peptide for mitochondrial translocation. Several regulatory elements such as stress responsive element and haem activator protein 2/3/4/5 complex binding sites were identified in the promoter region of sod2. Northern analysis with a probe derived from the cloned sod2 revealed a 0.94-kb band, which corresponds approximately to the expected size of mRNA deduced from sod2.