Proteins of the animal heme peroxidase (ANP) superfamily differ greatly in size since they have either one or two catalytic domains that match profile PS50292. The orf PP_2561 of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 that we have called PepA encodes a two-domain ANP. The alignment of these domains with those of PepA homologues revealed a variable number of insertions with the consensus G-x-D-G-x-x-[GN]-[TN]-x-D-D. This motif has also been detected in the structure of pseudopilin (pdb 3G20), where it was found to be involved in Ca(2+) coordination although a sequence analysis did not reveal the presence of any known calcium binding motifs in this protein. Isothermal titration calorimetry revealed that a peptide containing this consensus motif bound specifically calcium ions with affinities ranging between 33-79 µM depending on the pH. Microcalorimetric titrations of the purified N-terminal ANP-like domain of PepA revealed Ca(2+) binding with a K(D) of 12 µM and stoichiometry of 1.25 calcium ions per protein monomer. This domain exhibited peroxidase activity after its reconstitution with heme. These data led to the definition of a novel calcium binding motif that we have termed PERCAL and which was abundantly present in animal peroxidase-like domains of bacterial proteins. Bacterial heme peroxidases thus possess two different types of calcium binding motifs, namely PERCAL and the related hemolysin type calcium binding motif, with the latter being located outside the catalytic domains and in their C-terminal end. A phylogenetic tree of ANP-like catalytic domains of bacterial proteins with PERCAL motifs, including single domain peroxidases, was divided into two major clusters, representing domains with and without PERCAL motif containing insertions. We have verified that the recently reported classification of bacterial heme peroxidases in two families (cd09819 and cd09821) is unrelated to these insertions. Sequences matching PERCAL were detected in all kingdoms of life.