The malE and malK genes from Salmonella typhimurium, and the malEFG operon and a portion of malK from Enterobacter aerogenes were cloned and sequenced. Plasmid-borne malE genes from both species and the malF and malG genes from E. aerogenes were expressed normally in Escherichia coli, and their products function in maltose transport. This shows that the malB products from the three species are interchangeable, at least in the combinations tested. The general genetic organization of the malB region is conserved. Potential binding sites and distances between them are highly conserved in the regulatory intervals. An unexpected conserved region was detected, which we call the U box, and which could be another target for a regulatory protein. This hypothesis is supported by the presence of the U box in the regulatory region of the pulA-malX operon in Klebsiella pneumoniae. The intergenic region between malE and malF from S. typhimurium and E. aerogenes, contains inverted repeats similar to the palindromic units (PU or REP) found at the same location in E. coli. The predicted amino acid sequence of the encoded proteins showed 90% or more identity in every pairwise comparison of species.