In Yersinia pestis KIM, there are 11 Yops (yersinial outer membrane proteins) encoded by the low-Ca2+ response virulence plasmid pCD1. Only Yops M and N are found in easily detectable amounts in the culture medium. In this study, we located and characterized the yopM gene to obtain clues about its role in the virulence of Y. pestis. Rabbit antibody was raised against Yops M and H, copurified from the supernatant of Y. pseudotuberculosis 43(pGW600, pCD1 yopE::Mu dII[Ap(r) lac]). This antiserum was adsorbed with an Escherichia coli clone that strongly expressed YopH. The resulting YopM-specific antibody was used to screen a HindIII library of pCD1. HindIII-F and several subclones from it expressed YopM in E. coli minicells. A DNA fragment of 1.39 kilobases from HindIII-F was sequenced and found to contain a 367-amino-acid open reading frame capable of encoding a protein with molecular mass (41,566 daltons) and isoelectric point (4.06) similar to those of YopM. The +1 site of the yopM gene was determined by primer extension. The DNA sequence contained repeating structures: 11 pairs of exact direct repeats, two exact inverted repeats, and three palindromes, ranging from 10 to 42 bases in size. One consensus 14-amino-acid sequence was repeated six times in the predicted protein sequence. The YopM sequence shares some significant homology with the von Willebrand factor- and thrombin-binding domain of the alpha chain of human platelet membrane glycoprotein Ib. These findings suggested a testable hypothesis for the function of YopM.