The biosynthesis of the 2'-(5"-phosphoribosyl)-3'-dephospho-coenzyme A (CoA) prosthetic group of citrate lyase (EC 22.214.171.124), a key enzyme of citrate fermentation, proceeds via the initial formation of the precursor 2'-(5"-triphosphoribosyl)-3'-dephospho-CoA and subsequent transfer to apo-citrate lyase with removal of pyrophosphate. In Escherichia coli, the two steps are catalyzed by CitG and CitX, respectively, and the corresponding genes are part of the citrate lyase gene cluster, citCDEFXG. In the homologous citCDEFG operon of Klebsiella pneumoniae, citX is missing. A search for K. pneumoniae citX led to the identification of a second genome region involved in citrate fermentation which comprised the citWX genes and the divergent citYZ genes. The citX gene was confirmed to encode holo-citrate lyase synthase, whereas citW was shown to encode a citrate carrier, the third one identified in this species. The citYZ genes were found to encode a two-component system consisting of the sensor kinase CitY and the response regulator CitZ. Remarkably, both proteins showed >or=40% sequence identity to the citrate-sensing CitA-CitB two-component system, which is essential for the induction of the citrate fermentation genes in K. pneumoniae. A citZ insertion mutant was able to grow anaerobically with citrate, indicating that CitZ is not essential for expression of citrate fermentation genes. CitX synthesis was induced to a basal level under anaerobic conditions, independent of citrate, CitB, and CitZ, and to maximal levels during anaerobic growth with citrate as the sole carbon source. Similar to the other citrate fermentation enzymes, CitX synthesis was apparently subject to catabolite repression.