Arginine anaerobic catabolism occurs in Bacillus licheniformis through the arginine deiminase pathway, encoded by the gene cluster arcABDC. We report here the involvement of a new protein, ArcR, in the regulation of the pathway. ArcR is a protein of the Crp/Fnr family encoded by a gene located 109 bp downstream from arcC. It binds to a palindromic sequence, very similar to an Escherichia coli Crp binding site, located upstream from arcA. Residues in the C-terminal domain of Crp that form the DNA binding motif, in particular residues Arg-180 and Glu-181 that make specific bonds with DNA, are conserved in ArcR, suggesting that the complexes formed with DNA by Crp and ArcR are similar. Moreover, the pattern of DNase I hypersensitivity sites induced by the binding of ArcR suggests that ArcR bends the DNA in the same way as Crp. From the absence of anaerobic induction following inactivation of arcR and from the existence of a binding site upstream of the arcA transcription start point, it can be inferred that ArcR is an activator of the arginine deiminase pathway.