Heptaprenyl diphosphate synthase of Bacillus subtilis is composed of two dissociable heteromeric subunits, component I and component II. Component II has highly conserved regions typical of (E)-prenyl diphosphate synthases, but it shows no prenyltransferase activity alone unless it is combined with component I. Alignment of amino acid sequences for component I and the corresponding subunits of Bacillus stearothermophilus heptaprenyl diphosphate synthase and Micrococcus luteus B-P 26 hexaprenyl diphosphate synthase shows three regions of high similarity. To elucidate the role of these regions of component I during catalysis, 13 of the conserved amino acid residues in these regions were selected for substitution by site-directed mutagenesis. Kinetic studies indicated that substitutions of Val-93 with Gly, Leu-94 with Ser, and Tyr-104 with Ser resulted in 3-10-fold increases of K(m) values for the allylic substrate and 5-15-fold decreases of V(max) values compared to those of the wild-type enzyme. The three mutated enzymes, V93G, L94S, and Y104S, showed little binding affinity to the allylic substrate in the membrane filter assay. Furthermore, product analyses showed that D97A yielded shorter chain prenyl diphosphates as the main product, while Y103S gave the final product with a C(40) prenyl chain length. These results suggest that some of the conserved residues in region B of component I are involved in the binding of allylic substrate as well as determining the chain length of the enzymatic reaction product.