The three-dimensional structure of notexin has been solved by molecular replacement methods. The structure has been refined at 2.0 A resolution to a crystallographic R-value of 16.5% with good stereo-chemistry. The core of the protein is very similar to other phospholipase A2s (PLA2 s) but several parts of the molecule are distinctly different. The most significant differences from PLA2 s from bovine pancreas and rattlesnake occur in the stretches 56-80 and 85-89. Residue 69, which has been shown to be important for phospholipase binding, has a different conformation and different interactions than in other known PLA2s. The C alpha positions for residues 86-88 differ by about 6 A from both the bovine and the rattlesnake enzyme. The crystals contain no Ca2+ ions. Instead, a water molecule occupies the calcium site.