The nucleotide sequence of a 2505 bp region of the Escherichia coli chromosome containing the LexA regulated ruv gene has been determined. A sequence of 1631 bp encoding two non-overlapping open reading frames that constitute a single operon and which specify polypeptides with predicted molecular weights of 22172 daltons and 37177 daltons respectively, was identified as the most probable sequence for ruv. Each of the two open reading frames, designated ruvA and ruvB, is preceded by a reasonable Shine-Dalgarno sequence. Two 16 bp sequences (SOS boxes) that match the consensus sequence for binding LexA protein are located 5' to ruvA in a region that provides a possible single promoter for expression of both ruvA and ruvB, with the second SOS box overlapping the putative -35 region. A possible transcriptional terminator is located 137 bp downstream of ruvB. The amino acid sequence predicted for RuvB contains a region that matches a highly conserved sequence found in several DNA repair and recombination proteins that bind ATP.