Lysyl-tRNA synthetase catalyses the formation of lysyl-transfer RNA, Lys-tRNA(Lys), which then is ready to insert lysine into proteins. Lysine is important for proteins since it is one of only two proteinogenic amino acids carrying an alkaline functional group. Seven genes of lysyl-tRNA synthetases have been localized in five organisms, and the nucleotide and the amino acid sequences have been established. The lysyl-tRNA synthetase molecules are of average chain lengths among the aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, which range from about 300 to 1100 amino acids. Lysyl-tRNA synthetases act as dimers; in eukaryotes they can be localized in multienzyme complexes and can contain carbohydrates or lipids. Lysine tRNA is recognized by lysyl-tRNA synthetase via standard identity elements, namely anticodon region and acceptor stem. The aminoacylation follows the standard two-step mechanism. However the accuracy of selecting lysine against the other amino acids is less than average. The first threedimensional structure of a lysyl-tRNA synthetase worked out very recently, using the enzyme from the Escherichia coli lysU gene which binds one molecule of lysine, is similar to those of other class II synthetases. However, none of the reaction steps catalyzed by the enzyme is clarified to atomic resolution. Thus surprising findings might be possible. Lysyl-tRNA synthetase and its precursors as well as its substrates and products are targets and starting points of many regulation circuits, e.g. in multienzyme complex formation and function, dinucleoside polyphosphate synthesis, heat shock regulation, activation or deactivation by phosphorylation/dephosphorylation, inhibition by amino acid analogs, and generation of antibodies against lysyl-tRNA synthetase. None of these pathways is clarified completely.