L-threo-3-Hydroxyaspartate dehydratase (L-THA DH, EC 18.104.22.168), which catalyses the cleavage of L-threo-3-hydroxyaspartate (L-THA) to oxalacetate and ammonia, has been purified from the soil bacterium Pseudomonas sp. T62. In this report, the gene encoding L-THA DH was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli, and the gene product was purified and characterized in detail. A 957-bp nucleotide fragment was confirmed to be the gene encoding L-THA DH, based on the agreement of internal amino acid sequences. The deduced amino acid sequence, which belongs to the serine/threonine dehydratase family, shows similarity to YKL218c from Saccharomyces cerevisiae (64%), serine racemase from Schizosaccharomyces pombe (64%) and Mus musculus (36%), and biodegradative threonine dehydratase from E. coli (38%). Site-directed mutagenesis experiments revealed that lysine at position 53 is an important residue for enzymatic activity. This enzyme exhibited dehydratase activity specific only to L-THA [K(m) = 0.54 mM, V(max) = 39.0 micromol min(-1) (mg protein)(-1)], but not to other 3-hydroxyaspartate isomers, and exhibited no detectable serine/aspartate racemase activity. This is the first report of an amino acid sequence of the bacterial enzyme that acts on L-THA.