Isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) is a common precursor for the synthesis of all isoprenoids, which have important functions in living organisms. IPP is produced by the mevalonate pathway in archaea, fungi, and animals. In contrast, IPP is synthesized by a mevalonate-independent pathway in most bacteria, algae, and plant plastids. 1-Deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase (DXS) catalyzes the first and the rate-limiting step of the mevalonate-independent pathway and is an attractive target for the development of novel antibiotics, antimalarials, and herbicides. We report here the first structural information on DXS, from Escherichia coli and Deinococcus radiodurans, in complex with the coenzyme thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP). The structure contains three domains (I, II, and III), each of which bears homology to the equivalent domains in transketolase and the E1 subunit of pyruvate dehydrogenase. However, DXS has a novel arrangement of these domains as compared with the other enzymes, such that the active site of DXS is located at the interface of domains I and II in the same monomer, whereas that of transketolase is located at the interface of the dimer. The coenzyme TPP is mostly buried in the complex, but the C-2 atom of its thiazolium ring is exposed to a pocket that is the substrate-binding site. The structures identify residues that may have important roles in catalysis, which have been confirmed by our mutagenesis studies.