A genetically engineered water-soluble derivative of PBP2x of Streptococcus pneumoniae has been produced, purified and crystallized in a form suitable for X-ray diffraction analysis. The best crystals have been grown at 15 degrees C, from solutions containing 8% polyethylene glycol 10,000 at pH values ranging from 3.9 to 6.0. These crystals diffract to a resolution of 3.5 A and have a space group P6(1)22 (or enantiomorph) with unit cell dimensions of a = b = 162.2 A, c = 171.8 A, alpha = beta = 90 degrees, gamma = 120 degrees. The molecular mass and cell dimensions suggest that there is one molecule of enzyme per asymmetric unit. The breakdown of a chromogenic cephalosporin derivative diffused into a crystal reveals clearly that the enzyme is active in the crystalline state.