A new type of manganese-oxidizing enzyme has been identified in two alphaproteobacteria, "Aurantimonas manganoxydans" strain SI85-9A1 and Erythrobacter sp. strain SD-21. These proteins were identified by tandem mass spectrometry of manganese-oxidizing bands visualized by native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in-gel activity assays and fast protein liquid chromatography-purified proteins. Proteins of both alphaproteobacteria contain animal heme peroxidase and hemolysin-type calcium binding domains, with the 350-kDa active Mn-oxidizing protein of A. manganoxydans containing stainable heme. The addition of both Ca(2+) ions and H(2)O(2) to the enriched protein from Aurantimonas increased manganese oxidation activity 5.9-fold, and the highest activity recorded was 700 microM min(-1) mg(-1). Mn(II) is oxidized to Mn(IV) via an Mn(III) intermediate, which is consistent with known manganese peroxidase activity in fungi. The Mn-oxidizing protein in Erythrobacter sp. strain SD-21 is 225 kDa and contains only one peroxidase domain with strong homology to the first 2,000 amino acids of the peroxidase protein from A. manganoxydans. The heme peroxidase has tentatively been named MopA (manganese-oxidizing peroxidase) and sheds new light on the molecular mechanism of Mn oxidation in prokaryotes.