In recent years, dihydrodipicolinate synthase (DHDPS; EC 220.127.116.11) has received considerable attention from both mechanistic and structural viewpoints. DHDPS is part of the diaminopimelate pathway leading to lysine, coupling (S)-aspartate-beta-semialdehyde with pyruvate via a Schiff base to a conserved active-site lysine. In this paper, the cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of DHDPS from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, an important bacterial pathogen, are reported. The enzyme was crystallized in a number of forms, predominantly from PEG precipitants, with the best crystal diffracting to beyond 1.45 A resolution. The space group was P1 and the unit-cell parameters were a = 65.4, b = 67.6, c = 78.0 A, alpha = 90.1, beta = 68.9, gamma = 72.3 degrees . The crystal volume per protein weight (V(M)) was 2.34 A(3) Da(-1), with an estimated solvent content of 47% for four monomers per asymmetric unit. The structure of the enzyme will help to guide the design of novel therapeutics against the methicillin-resistant S. aureus pathogen.