FS9 mouse sarcoma cells were previously shown to be highly invasive when confronted with chicken heart fibroblasts using Abercrombie's confronted explant technique. This invasion could be inhibited by addition to the assay of Fab fragments of a monoclonal antibody directed against p37, a protein associated with the surface of FS9 cells. We have cloned and sequenced the gene for p37. We show that it originates from Mycoplasma hyorhinis and that UGA is a tryptophan codon in this organism. We present evidence that the p37 gene is part of an operon encoding two additional proteins which are highly similar to components of the periplasmic binding-protein-dependent transport systems of Gram-negative bacteria, and we suggest that p37 is part of a homologous, high-affinity transport system in M. hyorhinis, a Gram-positive bacterium. We discuss the influence of p37 and M. hyorhinis on contact inhibition of locomotion of mammalian cells.