The nucleotide sequence of the ompA gene from Shigella dysenteriae has been determined and the amino acid sequence of the pro-OmpA protein predicted. Sequence comparison between the ompA genes of S.dysenteriae and Escherichia coli showed that features such as mRNA secondary structure and codon usage, as well as polypeptide function, have been conserved during evolution. The pro-OmpA protein of S.dysenteriae consists of 351 residues, as opposed to the 346 of the E.coli protein and also shows several amino acid changes. These changes have been used to interpret differences in the biological activity of the two proteins.