Assembly of the full Escherichia coli K-12 lon gene from the EcoRI--SphI fragment of the bacterial DNA ("modified" gene) cloned and sequenced earlier and the PstI fragment of the same DNA containing 3'-terminal region of the lon gene has been performed. Both "modified" and full genes showed all phenotype properties of lon gene. The complete nucleotide sequence of the gene (2770 bp) coding for the 784 amino acid sequence of protease La was determined. Location of catalytically active serine, histidine and aspartic acid residues was suggested, and ATP-binding site found. The lon gene and protease La structures we found are compared with those described independently and differences observed are discussed.