The structure of a lipoyl domain from the pyruvate dehydrogenase multienzyme complex of Escherichia coli has been determined by means of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. A total of 549 nuclear Overhauser effect distance restraints, 52 phi torsion angle restraints and 16 slowly exchanging amide protons were employed as input for the structure calculations. These were performed using a combined distance geometry-simulated annealing strategy. The domain is a hybrid between the N and C-terminal halves of the first and third lipoyl domains, respectively, of the dihydrolipoyl acetyltransferase component of the E. coli multienzyme complex, representing residues 1 to 33 and 238 to 289 (wild-type numbering). The lipoyl-lysine residue was also replaced by glutamine. Nonetheless, its structure, two four-stranded beta-sheets forming a flattened beta-barrel, closely resembles that of the lipoyl domain from the pyruvate dehydrogenase multienzyme complex from Bacillus stearothermophilus determined previously. As before, the lipoylation site is physically exposed in a tight turn in one of the beta-sheets, and the N and C-terminal residues are close together at the other end of the molecule in adjacent strands of the other beta-sheet. Another prominently conserved feature of the structure is the 2-fold axis of quasi-symmetry relating the N and C-terminal halves of the domain. Consistent with the high level of sequence similarity between lipoyl domains of 2-oxo acid dehydrogenase multienzyme complexes from many different sources, these results confirm that all lipoyl domains are likely to have closely related structures.