Interaction of the Escherichia coli DnaA (replication initiator) protein with restriction fragments of phage lambda DNA demonstrated differential binding of DnaA along the whole lambda DNA. Interaction of DnaA with the lambda replication region (from the promoter pR to the origin of replication, orilambda) demonstrated a strong binding of DnaA to the region around the p(o) promoter where synthesis of a short antisense oop RNA is initiated. The four sequences protected by DnaA (two 9mers and two 5mers) are not related even to a relaxed DnaA box. The pattern of protection of these four sequences and the location of three DNase I hypersensitive sites in the lambda DNA r strand, together with results of mobility shift assays and electron microscopy studies, may indicate an interaction involving DnaA monomers bound to different DNA positions on one side of the helix and the formation of higher-order nucleoprotein structures. Therefore, it is tempting to suggest that DnaA, in addition to its activity in regulation of replication and transcription, could be considered as a factor which structures certain chromosomal regions.