A recombinant plasmid capable of restoring UV resistance to an Escherichia coli uvrA mutant was isolated from a genomic library of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Sequence analysis revealed an open reading frame whose deduced amino acid sequence displayed significant similarity to those of the UvrA proteins of other bacterial species. A second open reading frame (ORF259) was identified upstream from, and in the opposite orientation to the gonococcal uvrA gene. Transcriptional fusions between portions of the gonococcal uvrA upstream region and a reporter gene were used to localise promoter activity in both E. coli and N. gonorrhoeae. The transcriptional starting points of uvrA and ORF259 were mapped in E. coli by primer extension analysis, and corresponding sigma70 promoters were identified. The arrangement of the uvrA-ORF259 intergenic region is similar to that of the gonococcal recA-aroD intergenic region. Both contain inverted copies of the 10 bp neisserial DNA uptake sequence situated between divergently transcribed genes. However, there is no evidence that either the uptake sequence or the proximity of the promoters influences expression of these genes.