A 1.5-kilobase-pair fragment of DNA that contains the lysostaphin gene from Staphylococcus simulans and its flanking sequences has been cloned and completely sequenced. The gene encodes a preproenzyme of Mr 42,000. The NH2-terminal sequence of the preproenzyme is composed of a signal peptide followed by seven tandem repeats of a 13-amino acid sequence. Conversion of prolysostaphin to the mature enzyme occurs extracellularly in cultures of S. simulans and involves removal of the NH2-terminal portion of the proenzyme that contains the tandem repeats. The high degree of homology of the repeats suggests that they have arisen by duplication of a 39-base-pair sequence of DNA. In S. simulans, the lysostaphin gene is present on a large beta-lactamase plasmid.