The 3' flanking region of the Escherichia coli rnpB gene-encoding M1 RNA, the RNA component of RNase P, contains a 113 bp repeated sequence. This sequence, successively reiterating 3.5 times, includes the region for intrinsic termination. In vivo termination of transcription occurs mostly at the first terminator (T1). Analysis of deletions at the 3' flanking region revealed that the second terminator (T2) and third (T3) are functional in vivo and that the sequences preceding the region coding for an RNA-terminator hairpin and U-rich 3' tail are essential for efficient termination. Transcripts terminating at T2 and T3 were also processed at the 3' end in a manner similar to those terminating at T1. (C) 1997 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.