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An enzyme catalyzing the formation of an unusual C-P bond that is involved in the biosynthesis of the antibiotic bialaphos (BA) was isolated from the cell extract of a mutant (NP71) of Streptomyces hygroscopicus SF1293. This enzyme, carboxyphosphonoenolpyruvate (CPEP) phosphonomutase, was first identified as a protein lacking in a mutant (NP213) defective in one of the steps in the pathway to BA. The first 30 residues of the amino terminus of this protein were identical to those predicted by the nucleotide sequence of the gene that restored BA production to NP213. The substrate of the enzyme, a P-carboxylated derivative of phosphoenolpyruvate named CPEP, was also isolated from the broth filtrate of NP213 as a new biosynthetic intermediate of BA. CPEP phosphonomutase catalyzes the rearrangement of the carboxyphosphono group of CPEP to form the C-P bond of phosphinopyruvate.