A two-component signal transduction system encoded by the yycF and yycG genes is part of an operon containing three genes, yycH, yycI, and yycJ, with no known function and a gene, yycK, coding for an HtrA-like protease. This operon was transcribed during growth, and its transcription shut down as the cells approached stationary phase. This decreased transcription was not Spo0A dependent. The HtrA protease gene was separately controlled during sporulation from a sigmaG promoter. Studies using insertional inactivation plasmids revealed that neither yycF nor yycG could be inactivated, whereas the other genes were inactivated without loss of viability. A temperature-sensitive YycF response regulator mutant was isolated and shown to have an H215P mutation in a putative DNA-binding domain which is closely related to the OmpR family of response regulators. At the nonpermissive temperature, cultures of the mutant strain stopped growth within 30 min, and this was followed by a decrease in optical density. Microscopically, many of the cells appeared to retain their structure while being empty of their contents. The essential processes regulated by this two-component system remain unknown. A search of the genome databases revealed YycF, YycG, and YycJ homologues encoded by three linked genes in Streptococcus pyogenes. The high level of identity of these proteins (71% for YycF) suggests that this system may play a similar role in gram-positive pathogens.