The cloned afu locus of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae restored the ability of an Escherichia coli K-12 mutant (aroB) to grow on iron-limited media. DNA sequence analysis of the fragment showed that there are three genes designated afuA, afuB and afuC (Actinobacillus ferric uptake) that encode products similar to the SfuABC proteins of Serratia marcescens, the HitABC proteins of Haemophilus influenzae, the FbpABC proteins of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and the YfuABC proteins of Yersinia enterocolitica. The three genes encode a periplasmic iron-binding protein (AfuA), a highly hydrophobic integral cytoplasmic membrane protein with two consensus permease motifs (AfuB) and one hydrophilic peripheral cytoplasmic membrane protein with Walker ATP-binding motifs (AfuC), respectively. This system has been shown to constitute a periplasmic binding protein-dependent iron transport system in these organisms. The afuABC operon is locating approximately 200 bp upstream of apxIC gene, but transcribed in opposite direction to the ApxI-toxin genes.