The major utilization pathway for lignin-derived aromatic compounds in microorganisms is the beta-ketoadipate pathway. Through this pathway, the aromatic compounds protocatechuate and catechol are converted to acetyl coenzyme A and succinyl coenzyme A. The enzymes of the protocatechuate branch of this pathway are encoded by the pca genes. Here, we describe a gene cluster in Streptomyces coelicolor containing the pca structural genes and a regulatory gene required for the catabolism of protocatechuate. We found that transcription of the structural genes in S. coelicolor is induced by protocatechuate and p-hydroxybenzoate. We also observed inducible transcription of pca structural genes in the ligninolytic strain Streptomyces viridosporus ATCC 39115. Disruption of a gene encoding a putative MarR family transcription factor that is divergently transcribed from the pca structural genes resulted in constitutive transcription of the structural genes. Thus, the transcription factor encoded by this gene is an apparent negative regulator of pca gene transcription in S. coelicolor. Our findings suggest how Streptomyces bacteria could be engineered for and used in biotechnology for the utilization and degradation of lignin and lignin-derived aromatic compounds.