Mycobacterium tuberculosis PknB is an essential receptor-like protein kinase involved in cell growth control. Here, we demonstrate that mitoxantrone, an anthraquinone derivative used in cancer therapy, is a PknB inhibitor capable of preventing mycobacterial growth. The structure of the complex reveals that mitoxantrone partially occupies the adenine-binding pocket in PknB, providing a framework for the design of compounds with potential therapeutic applications. PknB crystallizes as a 'back-to-back' homodimer identical to those observed in other structures of PknB in complex with ATP analogs. This organization resembles that of the RNA-dependent protein kinase PKR, suggesting a mechanism for kinase activation in mycobacteria.