Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen that is increasingly resistant to clinically useful antimicrobial agents. While screening for S. aureus genes expressed during mammalian infection, we isolated murC. This gene encodes UDP-N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine synthetase, an enzyme essential for cell wall biosynthesis in a number of bacteria. S. aureus MurC has a predicted mass 49,182 Da and complements the temperature-sensitive murC mutation of E. coli ST222. Sequence data on the DNA flanking staphylococcal murC suggests that the local gene organization there parallels that found in B. subtilis, but differs from that found in gram-negative bacterial pathogens. MurC proteins represent promising targets for broad spectrum antimicrobial drug development.