The cmpABCD operon of Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7942, encoding a high-affinity bicarbonate transporter, is transcribed only under CO2-limited conditions. In Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803, the slr0040, slr0041, slr0043, and slr0044 genes, forming an operon with a putative porin gene (slr0042), were identified as the cmpA, cmpB, cmpC, and cmpD genes, respectively, on the basis of their strong similarities to the corresponding Synechococcus cmp genes and their induction under low CO2 conditions. Immediately upstream of and transcribed divergently from the Synechocystis cmp operon is a gene (sll0030) encoding a homolog of CbbR, a LysR family transcriptional regulator of the CO2 fixation operons of chemoautotrophic and purple photosynthetic bacteria. Inactivation of sll0030, but not of another closely related cbbR homolog (sll1594), abolished low CO2 induction of cmp operon expression. Gel retardation assays showed specific binding of the Sll0030 protein to the sll0030-cmpA intergenic region, suggesting that the protein activates transcription of the cmp operon by interacting with its regulatory region. A cbbR homolog similar to sll0030 and sll1594 was cloned from Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7942 and shown to be involved in the low CO2-induced activation of the cmp operon. We hence designated the Synechocystis sll0030 gene and the Synechococcus cbbR homolog cmpR. In the mutants of the cbbR homologs, upregulation of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase operon expression by CO2 limitation was either unaffected (strain PCC 6803) or enhanced (strain PCC 7942), suggesting existence of other low CO2-responsive transcriptional regulator(s) in cyanobacteria.