The aacA-aphD aminoglycoside resistance determinant of the Staphylococcus aureus transposon Tn4001, which specifies resistance to gentamicin, tobramycin and kanamycin, has been cloned and shown to express these resistances in Escherichia coli. The determinant encoded a single protein with an apparent size of 59 kDa which specified both aminoglycoside acetyltransferase [AAC(6')] and aminoglycoside phosphotransferase [APH(2")] activities. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the determinant showed it to be capable of encoding a 479-amino-acid protein of 56.9 kDa. analysis of Tn1725 insertion mutants of the determinant indicated that resistance to tobramycin and kanamycin is due to the AAC activity specified by, approximately, the first 170 amino acids of the predicted protein sequence and is consistent with the gentamicin resistance, specified by the APH activity, being encoded within the C-terminal region of the protein. Comparison of the C-terminal end of the predicted amino acid sequence with the reported sequences of 13 APHs and a viomycin phosphotransferase revealed a region which is highly conserved among these phosphotransferases.