The lrp gene of the extreme thermophilic archaeon Sulfolofus solfataricus, encoding a homologue of the eubacterial global leucine-responsive regulatory protein, was identified by DNA sequencing and sequence comparisons on a 6.9-kb genomic fragment cloned into Escherichia coli. The S. solfataricus Lrp subunit is a 155-aa polypeptide that bears between 24.5 and 29% sequence identity with eubacterial regulatory proteins of the Lrp/AsnC family and 30.6% and 25.8% with the archaeal homologues of respectively Methanococcus jannaschii and Pyrococcus furiosus. Transcription initiation from the strong S. solfataricus lrp promoter was analyzed by primer extension mapping. The abundance of the S. solfataricus lrp messenger strongly suggests that this protein might function in archaea as a global transcriptional regulator and genome organizer, as proposed for E. coli Lrp, rather than as a local, specific regulatory protein. Our findings suggest the presence of a eubacterial type of regulatory mechanism in archaea, a situation that is noteworthy indeed, since the transcriptional machinery of archaea is more closely related to that of eukaryotes, whereas these latter apparently do not possess a homologue of Lrp.