In a gram-negative isolate (DSM 9103) able to grow with EDTA as the sole source of carbon, nitrogen, and energy, the first two steps of the catabolic pathway for EDTA were elucidated. They consisted of the sequential oxidative removal of two acetyl groups, resulting in the formation of glyoxylate. An enzyme complex that catalyzes the removal of two acetyl groups was purified and characterized. In the reaction, ethylenediaminetriacetate (ED3A) was formed as an intermediate and N,N'-ethylenediaminediacetate was the end product. The enzyme complex consisted of two components: component A' (cA'), most likely a monooxygenase, which catalyzes the cleavage of EDTA and ED3A while consuming oxygen and reduced flavin mononucleotide (FMN)-H2, and component B' (cB'), an NADH2:FMN oxidoreductase that provides FMNH2 for cA'. cB' could be replaced by other NADH2:FMN oxidoreductases such as component B of the nitrilotriacetate monooxygenase or the NADH2:FMN oxidoreductase from Photobacterium fischeri. The EDTA-oxidizing enzyme complex accepted EDTA as a substrate only when it was complexed with Mg2+, Zn2+, Mn2+, Co2+, or Cu2+. Moreover, the enzyme complex catalyzed the removal of acetyl groups from several other aminopolycarboxylic acids that possess three or more acetyl groups.