Among the few regulatory events in the minimal bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae is the phosphorylation of the HPr phosphocarrier protein of the phosphotransferase system. In the presence of glycerol, HPr is phosphorylated in an ATP-dependent manner by the HPr kinase/phosphorylase. The role of the latter enzyme was studied by constructing a M. pneumoniae hprK mutant defective in HPr kinase/phosphorylase. This mutant strain no longer exhibited HPr kinase activity but, surprisingly, still had phosphatase activity toward serine-phosphorylated HPr (HPr(Ser-P)). An inspection of the genome sequence revealed the presence of a gene (prpC) encoding a presumptive protein serine/threonine phosphatase of the PP2C family. The phosphatase PrpC was purified and its biochemical activity in HPr(Ser-P) dephosphorylation demonstrated. Moreover, a prpC mutant strain was isolated and found to be impaired in HPr(Ser-P) dephosphorylation. Homologues of PrpC are present in many bacteria possessing HPr(Ser-P), suggesting that PrpC may play an important role in adjusting the cellular HPr phosphorylation state and thus controlling the diverse regulatory functions exerted by the different forms of HPr.