Malonate decarboxylase from Klebsiella pneumoniae consists of four subunits MdcA, D, E, and C and catalyzes the cleavage of malonate to acetate and CO(2). The smallest subunit MdcC is an acyl carrier protein to which acetyl and malonyl thioester residues are bound via a 2'-(5' '-phosphoribosyl)-3'-dephospho-CoA prosthetic group and turn over during the catalytic mechanism. We report here on the biosynthesis of holo acyl carrier protein from the unmodified apoprotein. The prosthetic group biosynthesis starts with the MdcB-catalyzed condensation of dephospho-CoA with ATP to 2'-(5' '-triphosphoribosyl)-3'-dephospho-CoA. In this reaction, a new alpha (1' ' --> 2') glycosidic bond between the two ribosyl moieties is formed, and thereby, the adenine moiety of ATP is displaced. MdcB therefore is an ATP:dephospho-CoA 5'-triphosphoribosyl transferase. The second protein involved in holo ACP synthesis is MdcG. This enzyme forms a strong complex with the 2'-(5' '-triphosphoribosyl)-3'-dephospho-CoA prosthetic group precursor. This complex, called MdcG(i), is readily separated from free MdcG by native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Upon incubation of MdcG(i) with apo acyl carrier protein, holo acyl carrier protein is synthesized by forming the phosphodiester bond between the 2'-(5' '-phosphoribosyl)-3'-dephospho-CoA prosthetic group and serine 25 of the protein. MdcG corresponds to a 2'-(5' '-triphosphoribosyl)-3'-dephospho-CoA:apo ACP 2'-(5' '-phosphoribosyl)-3'-dephospho-CoA transferase. In absence of the prosthetic group precursor, MdcG catalyzes at a low rate the adenylylation of apo acyl carrier protein using ATP as substrate. The adenylyl ACP thus formed is an unphysiological side product and is not involved in the biosynthesis of holo ACP. The 2'-(5' '-triphosphoribosyl)-3'-dephospho-CoA precursor of the prosthetic group has been purified and its identity confirmed by mass spectrometry and enzymatic analysis.