Analysis of the 50-kb R-plasmid pTP10 from the clinical isolate Corynebacterium xerosis M82B revealed that the erythromycin resistance gene, ermCX, is located on a 4524-bp composite transposable element, Tn5432. The ends of Tn5432 are identical, direct repeats of an insertion sequence, designated IS1249, encoding a putative transposase of the IS256 family. IS1249 consists of 1385 bp with 45/42 imperfect terminal inverted repeats. The nucleotide sequence of the 1754-bp Tn5432 central region is 99% identical to the previously sequenced erythromycin resistance region of the Corynebacterium diphtheriae plasmid pNG2. It encodes the erythromycin resistance gene, ermCX, and an ORF homologous to the amino-terminal end of the transposase of IS31831 from Corynebacterium glutamicum. Transposons with regions flanking the insertion sites were recovered from the C. glutamicum chromosome by a plasmid rescue technique. Insertion of Tn5432 created 8-bp target site duplications. A Tn5432-induced isoleucine/valine-auxotrophic mutant was found to carry the transposon in the 5' region of the ilvBNC cluster; in pTP10 the transposon is inserted in a region similar to replication and partitioning functions of the Enterococcus faecalis plasmid pAD1 and the Agrobacterium tumefaciens plasmid pTAR.