The nucleotide sequence of a 2785-base-pair stretch of DNA containing the Saccharomyces cerevisiae catalase A (CTA1) gene has been determined. This gene contains an uninterrupted open reading frame encoding a protein of 515 amino acids (relative molecular mass 58,490). Catalase A, the peroxisomal catalase of S. cerevisiae was compared to the peroxisomal catalases from bovine liver and from Candida tropicalis and to the non-peroxisomal, presumably cytoplasmic, catalase T of S. cerevisiae. Whereas the peroxisomal catalases are almost colinear, three major insertions have to be introduced in the catalase T sequence to obtain an optimal fit with the other proteins. Catalase A is most closely related to the C. tropicalis enzyme. It is also more similar to the bovine liver catalase than to the second S. cerevisiae catalase. The differences between the two S. cerevisiae enzymes are most striking within four blocks of amino acids consisting of a total of 37 residues with high homology between the three peroxisomal, but low conservation between the S. cerevisiae catalases. The results obtained indicate that the peroxisomal catalases compared have very similar three-dimensional structures and might have similar targeting signals.