Plasmids carrying the Salmonella typhimurium dcp gene were isolated from a pBR328 library of Salmonella chromosomal DNA by screening for complementation of a peptide utilization defect conferred by a dcp mutation. Strains carrying these plasmids overproduced dipeptidyl carboxypeptidase approximately 50-fold. The nucleotide sequence of a 2.8-kb region of one of these plasmids contained an open reading frame coding for a protein of 77,269 Da, in agreement with the 80-kDa size for dipeptidyl carboxypeptidase (determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and gel filtration). The N-terminal amino acid sequence of dipeptidyl carboxypeptidase purified from an overproducer strain agreed with that predicted by the nucleotide sequence. Northern (RNA) blot data indicated that dcp is not cotranscribed with other genes, and primer extension analysis showed the start of transcription to be 22 bases upstream of the translational start. The amino acid sequence of dcp was not similar to that of a mammalian dipeptidyl carboxypeptidase, angiotensin I-converting enzyme, but showed striking similarities to the amino acid sequence of another S. typhimurium peptidase encoded by the opdA (formerly optA) gene.