Few and limited amino acid sequence homologies have been found among eight bacterial aminoacyl transfer RNA (tRNA) synthetases whose primary structures are known. The entire 939-amino acid primary structure of Escherichia coli isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase is now reported. In a sequence of 11 consecutive amino acids matching a sequence in E. coli methionyl-tRNA synthetase, there are ten identical residues and one conservative change. This is the strongest homology recorded between any two aminoacyl tRNA synthetases. This part of the methionine enzyme's three-dimensional structure has been determined, and it occurs in a mononucleotide binding fold; a close three-dimensional structural homology of this part of the enzyme with Bacillus stearothermophilus tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase has also been reported. The three synthetases probably fold identically in this region.