The histidine-containing phosphotransfer (HPt) domain is a novel protein module with an active histidine residue that mediates phosphotransfer reactions in the two-component signaling systems. A multistep phosphorelay involving the HPt domain has been suggested for these signaling pathways. The crystal structure of the HPt domain of the anaerobic sensor kinase ArcB has been determined. The domain consists of six alpha helices containing a four-helix bundle-folding. The pattern of sequence similarity of the HPt domains of ArcB and components in other signaling systems can be interpreted in light of the three-dimensional structure and supports the conclusion that the HPt domains have a common structural motif both in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In S. cerevisiae ypd1p this domain has been shown to contain a binding surface for Ssk1p (response regulator receiver domain containing protein pfam00072).