Biochemical analysis of the enzymatic activity catalyzing the conversion of chorismate to isochorismate in the enterobactin biosynthetic pathway attributed the reaction to the isochorismate synthetase enzyme, designated EntC. However, the lack of mutations defining this activity has hampered the precise identification of the entC structural gene. In this study, we engineered a stable insertion mutation into the chromosomal region between the enterobactin genes fepB and entE. This mutation disrupted the structural gene for a previously identified 44-kilodalton protein and eliminated production of 2,3-dihydroxybenzoic acid, the catechol precursor of enterobactin. The complete nucleotide sequence of this gene was determined and compared with the sequences of other genes encoding chorismate-utilizing proteins. The similarities observed in these comparisons not only indicated that the locus is entC but also supported the premise that these enzymes constitute a family of related proteins sharing a common evolutionary origin. In addition, in this and the accompanying paper (M. S. Nahlik, T. J. Brickman, B. A. Ozenberger, and M. A. McIntosh, J. Bacteriol. 171:784-790, 1989), evidence is presented indicating that the entA product is potentially a secondary factor in the chorismate-to-isochorismate conversion and that the prototypic entC lesion (entC401) resides in the structural gene for the EntA protein. Finally, polarity effects from the insertion mutation in entC on downstream biosynthetic genes indicated that this locus is the promoter-proximal cistron in an ent operon comprising at least five genes. Appropriate regulatory signals upstream of entC suggest that this operon is regulated by iron through interaction with the Fur repressor protein.