Acyl coenzyme A carboxylase (acyl-CoA carboxylase) was purified from Acidianus brierleyi. The purified enzyme showed a unique subunit structure (three subunits with apparent molecular masses of 62, 59, and 20 kDa) and a molecular mass of approximately 540 kDa, indicating an alpha(4)beta(4)gamma(4) subunit structure. The optimum temperature for the enzyme was 60 to 70 degrees C, and the optimum pH was around 6.4 to 6.9. Interestingly, the purified enzyme also had propionyl-CoA carboxylase activity. The apparent K(m) for acetyl-CoA was 0.17 +/- 0.03 mM, with a V(max) of 43.3 +/- 2.8 U mg(-1), and the K(m) for propionyl-CoA was 0.10 +/- 0.008 mM, with a V(max) of 40.8 +/- 1.0 U mg(-1). This result showed that A. brierleyi acyl-CoA carboxylase is a bifunctional enzyme in the modified 3-hydroxypropionate cycle. Both enzymatic activities were inhibited by malonyl-CoA, methymalonyl-CoA, succinyl-CoA, or CoA but not by palmitoyl-CoA. The gene encoding acyl-CoA carboxylase was cloned and characterized. Homology searches of the deduced amino acid sequences of the 62-, 59-, and 20-kDa subunits indicated the presence of functional domains for carboxyltransferase, biotin carboxylase, and biotin carboxyl carrier protein, respectively. Amino acid sequence alignment of acetyl-CoA carboxylases revealed that archaeal acyl-CoA carboxylases are closer to those of Bacteria than to those of Eucarya. The substrate-binding motifs of the enzymes are highly conserved among the three domains. The ATP-binding residues were found in the biotin carboxylase subunit, whereas the conserved biotin-binding site was located on the biotin carboxyl carrier protein. The acyl-CoA-binding site and the carboxybiotin-binding site were found in the carboxyltransferase subunit.