S. typhimurium become resistant to killing by hydrogen peroxide and other oxidants when pretreated with nonlethal levels of hydrogen peroxide. During adaptation to hydrogen peroxide, 30 proteins are induced. Nine are constitutively overexpressed in dominant hydrogen peroxide-resistant oxyR mutants. Mutant oxyR1 is resistant to a variety of oxidizing agents and overexpresses at least five enzyme activities involved in defenses against oxidative damage. Deletions of oxyR are recessive and uninducible by hydrogen peroxide for the nine proteins overexpressed in oxyR1, demonstrating that oxyR is a positive regulatory element. The oxyR1 mutant is also more resistant than the wild-type parent to killing by heat, and it constitutively overexpresses three heat-shock proteins. The oxyR regulatory network is a previously uncharacterized global regulatory system in enteric bacteria.