The LysR family is composed of > 50 similar-sized, autoregulatory transcriptional regulators (LTTRs) that apparently evolved from a distant ancestor into subfamilies found in diverse prokaryotic genera. In response to different coinducers, LTTRs activate divergent transcription of linked target genes or unlinked regulons encoding extremely diverse functions. Mutational studies and amino acid sequence similarities of LTTRs identify: (a) a DNA-binding domain employing a helix-turn-helix motif (residues 1-65), (b) domains involved in coinducer recognition and/or response (residues 100-173 and 196-206), (c) a domain required for both DNA binding and coinducer response (residues 227-253). DNA footprinting studies suggest that in the absence of coinducer many LTTRs bind to regulated promoters via a 15-bp dyadic sequence with a common structure and position (near -65). Coinducer causes additional interactions of LTTRs with sequences near the -35 RNA polymerase binding site and/or DNA bending that results in transcription activation.