A yeast gene for a methionine aminopeptidase, one of the central enzymes in protein synthesis, was cloned and sequenced. The DNA sequence encodes a precursor protein containing 387 amino acid residues. The mature protein, whose NH2-terminal sequence was confirmed by Edman degradation, consists of 377 amino acids. The function of the 10-residue sequence at the NH2 terminus, containing 1 serine and 6 threonine residues, remains to be established. In contrast to the structure of the prokaryotic enzyme, the yeast methionine aminopeptidase consists of two functional domains: a unique NH2-terminal domain containing two motifs resembling zinc fingers, which may allow the protein to interact with ribosomes, and a catalytic COOH-terminal domain resembling other prokaryotic methionine aminopeptidases. Furthermore, unlike the case for the prokaryotic gene, the deletion of the yeast MAP1 gene is not lethal, suggesting for the first time that alternative NH2-terminal processing pathway(s) exist for cleaving methionine from nascent polypeptide chains in eukaryotic cells.