The pcpB gene of Flavobacterium sp. strain ATCC 39723 was cloned by using a degenerate primer designed from the N-terminal sequence of the purified enzyme. The nucleotide sequence of pcpB was determined and found to encode an open reading frame of 1,614 nucleotides, yielding a predicted translation product of 538 amino acids, in agreement with the estimated size of the purified protein analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The transcriptional start of pcpB was found to be 80 bp upstream of the translational start, and the transcript was found to be induced in Flavobacterium sp. strain ATCC 39723 by the presence of pentachlorophenol but to be constitutive in the Escherichia coli pcpB clone. DNA hybridizations with genomic DNAs from Arthrobacter sp. strain ATCC 33790 and Pseudomonas sp. strain SR3 revealed a similar-size 3.0-kb EcoRI fragment, whereas there was no positive hybridization with genomic DNA from Rhodococcus chlorophenolicus. Cell extracts from an E. coli pcpB overexpression strain, as well as the whole cells, were proficient in the dechlorination of pentachlorophenol to tetrachlorohydroquinone. Protein data base comparisons of the predicted translation products revealed regions of homology with other microbial monooxygenases, including phenol-2-monooxygenase and tryptophan-2-monooxygenase.